Ever since the late 1970s, when in vitro fertilization first made the dream of childbirth come true for some previously infertile couples, doctors have tried to improve the technique's efficiency. Still, only 20 to 30 percent of would-be parents undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) start a successful pregnancy during a single attempt. The procedure costs an average of $10,000 in the United States and puts couples on an emotional roller-coaster.
Using a new technique to examine chromosomes of IVF embryos at the time they're implanted in the womb, researchers now report abnormalities never seen later in development.
Some of the newly observed flaws might explain why IVF has been so hit-or-miss. The technique may also boost IVF's success rate, some researchers say.