Another Frozen ‘Fertility First’ for MFS

Midland Fertility Services (MFS) has confirmed that a woman1 from the West Midlands gave birth to the clinic’s first twins born from vitrified blastocysts in June 2010.

They are thought to be the first twins in the West Midlands conceived using the laboratory double-technique of vitrification and blastocyst culture.

Vitrification2 is a method of ‘flash-freezing’ eggs and embryos into a ‘glass-like’ state and which may significantly improve their survival rates during the thawing process, from about 60% to 90%.

Blastocysts3 are multi-cell embryos which are cultured in an incubator for up to six days, before being transferred into the mother’s uterus.  Evidence suggests that if an embryo can develop to blastocyst stage in an incubator, following its transfer into the woman, it has a greater chance of resulting in a pregnancy than a standard eight-cell embryo.

MFS, the Aldridge-based fertility clinic, introduced blastocysts to the West Midlands in 1998 and has offered vitrification since 2008.

“As well as being an incredibly happy event for the parents of the babies, this livebirth marks a milestone for both techniques and is very encouraging for the development of IVF treatment using frozen embryos,” says Su Barlow, laboratory director at MFS.

Su Barlow CS M.Med.Sci BSc (Hons) DipRCPath
Su Barlow, laboratory director at MFS

“Combining both techniques may help to further improve success rates for many couples who undergo IVF treatment, with potentially better survival rates of thawed, vitrified blastocysts and improved implantation rates following their transfer into the mother.

“Like the clinic’s pioneering work with egg freezing4, it is another example of the laboratory and clinical teams at MFS introducing and developing new techniques which will enable more women and couples to have the babies they dream of.”

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Issue date: 22 September 2010

Editor Notes

1The couple wishes to remain anonymous and no further information about them or their babies will be released.

2MFS freezes blastocysts and eggs using both the original, slow-freeze method and the vitrification, flash-freezing process.  Criteria for selection include the number and quality of the eggs and blastocysts and the medical needs and treatment history of the woman.

3The decision to culture embryos to blastocyst stage is taken by embryologists and based on the number and quality of the eggs and blastocysts and the medical needs and treatment history of the woman.

4MFS achieved the UK’s first frozen egg babies and the eggs which resulted in the birth of the first five babies born in the UK following the freezing, thaw, fertilisation and transfer of the mothers’ own eggs were all collected and frozen at MFS.

MFS was established in 1987 and is licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to offer a range of fertility treatments and procedures including IVF, ICSI, egg donation, egg and embryo freezing and sperm recovery.  In May 2002 the UK’s first ‘frozen egg’ baby was born following treatment at MFS.  In September 2005, the UK’s first twins were born from ‘frozen eggs’ fertility treatment at MFS, followed by the first ‘frozen egg’ boy in December 2005.  In April 2006 the clinic’s first twins were born following the mother’s treatment with Vi4gr4 as part of her fertility treatment at MFS.  In early 2008, the 4,000th baby was born after treatment at MFS and the clinic celebrated its 21st anniversary in June 2008.  The 4,500th baby was born in August 2009 and in June 2010 the first twins were born from vitrified blastocysts.  Based in Aldridge, West Midlands, MFS treats both private and NHS patients. 

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