A woman's chances of becoming pregnant through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) can increase by more than a quarter with new technology that mimics the effects of the womb, experts claimed.
Fertility experts at Newcastle University in northeast England discovered a way of processing embryos during IVF treatment that does not require the embryos to be removed from incubators for examination, which can be harmful.
The team developed a system of interlinked incubators that allows all such procedures to be carried out within an enclosed and controlled environment, according to research published in the journal PLoS ONE.
A three-year study showed that the new system resulted in a minimum 27 percent increase in pregnancy rates compared with conventional IVF equipment.
Women in the study had a 45 percent chance of getting pregnant, compared with a 32 percent and 35 percent chance in the preceding two years.
Professor Mary Herbert, who led the research, said, "Our aim was to keep eggs and embryos in conditions similar to those they would experience naturally—inside a woman's body."
She added, "This led our team to design and develop a system in which it is possible to perform all of the technical procedures while maintaining stable conditions throughout the IVF process."
Professor Alison Murdoch, head of clinical service at Newcastle Fertility Centre at Life added, "Since installing this new technology over 850 babies have now been born."