Dubai: Improving fertility potential and maximising the success rate in IVF were the focal points of a conference organised by Bourn Hall Fertility Clinic on Friday. The event brought together fertility specialists, gynaecologists, obstetricians, urologists, embryologists, lab personnel, nurses and trainees from the region for an engaging and interactive conference on the current trends in the field.

The causes behind recurrent pregnancy failure were highlighted and ways to better the fertility odds, particularly with respect to the cases in the UAE, were also discussed.

“Women who’ve had successful pregnancies have about four to six per cent chance of loss, whereas the chances can increase up to 19-24 per cent in case of prior pregnancy loss,” said Dr David Robertson, group medical director and IVF Consultant, Bourn Hall Fertility Clinic.

He identified the possible causes of early pregnancy loss, pointing out that recurrence increases if there is a history attached.

“Even in healthy women, the likelihood of pregnancy loss is as high as 34 per cent. Moreover, a single miscarriage, unless a successful pregnancy intervenes, increases the risk for the next pregnancy,” he added.

Dr Robertson further explained that 10—15 per cent of recurrent first trimester losses have congenital anomaly. “One of the most common factors is the variations of the double uterus — an abnormal condition where the uterus is not created as one hollow organ to cradle the foetus, but separates into two tubes leading to pregnancy failure,” he added.

While stressing on the importance of pre-implantation genetic screening and diagnosis, Dr Rupali Chopra, Lab Director, PFD, Igenomix, Dubai, identified the indications that necessitate the screening. These included advanced maternal age (more than 38 years), more than two IVF failures, more than two miscarriages, prior pregnancy or child which was chromosomally abnormal and low sperm count. She added that by assessing embryo viability, people stand a good chance of improved implantation, decreased miscarriage rates and a lesser risk of abnormal birth.

Another important topic of discussion was myomectomy, or the removal of fibroids which tend to grow rapidly during fertility. Uterine fibroids are also one of the most common benign smooth muscle tumours in women, prevailing in 20 to 40 per cent in women over the age of 35 years.