Advances in Fertility and Pregnancy Technology Paving the Way for Safer Births

From in-vitro fertilization to ultrasound imaging, there have been many advances in pregnancy technology over the last few years. Approximately one in eight couples has trouble getting pregnant or maintaining a pregnancy, which means these technological advances are very sought after by couples attempting to conceive.

New research has revealed that multiple-embryo transfer, which was previously at the forefront of in-vitro technology, isn’t as effective as older studies previously suggested. Multiple studies completed in the last few years have found that transferring a single embryo yields the same number of live births as multiple-embryo transfers do.

Another study found that implanting a weak embryo alongside a healthy embryo may actually make it more difficult to sustain a pregnancy. Data suggests that the body, instead of making sure the healthy embryo implants, dedicates more energy to helping the weak embryo survive.

The data only reinforces practices that other countries have already begun to adopt. Places like Sweden, Japan, and the United Kingdom are seeing very few multiple-embryo transfers because of the health implications.

But for those expecting parents who are afraid of additional complications, even more new technologies are becoming available. One of the most exciting pieces of new technology is an extremely detailed pregnancy scan.

Researchers and clinicians at iFind came together and captured what may be the clearest images of a developing fetus to date. The iFind project, funded by a grant from the Wellcome Trust and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), aims to provide better fetal visuals in order to identify abnormalities early on in a pregnancy.

The researchers working on the project eventually want the technology to include four probes that move automatically over the uterus and capture fetal movement. As one of the only safe imaging technologies to use on pregnant women, researchers believe it’s important to continue to innovate.