Tuesday, 11 May, 2010

No more sex for procreation?

A bold study estimates that the traditional method of making babies will be a dying art, replaced by in-vitro fertilization (IVF) technology.

According to a new report, advances in IVF technology mean it will be possible to produce embryos with a success rate of virtually 100 per cent and cultivate them in computer-controlled storage facilities, reported Times of London.

The advancement will ease the pressure on couples who have delayed having children until their late 30s or 40s.

They may routinely opt for IVF rather than sex to reproduce, giving themselves a greater chance of conceiving through IVF than young adults in peak condition, who have only a one-in-four chance a month of conceiving naturally.

"Natural human reproduction is at best a fairly inefficient process." says Mr John Yovich, co-author of report.

Present fertility techniques meant that the healthiest of couples have a 50 per cent chance of success using IVF, said the report.

However, authors of the study, published in the Journal Reproductive Bio Medicine Online, said that rapid advances in artificial reproduction for farm animals - which have led to a near-100 per cent success rate in the production of cattle embryos - claim the technology could easily be adapted for humans.

Mr John Yovich, a co-author of the report, told The Times: "We are not quite at that stage yet, but it's where we're heading. Natural human reproduction is at best a fairly inefficient process. Within the next five to 10 years, couples approaching 40 will access the IVF industry first when they want to have a baby."

Gedis Grudzinskas, a Harley Street infertility specialist and editor of Reproductive Bio Medicine Online, said: "It wouldn't surprise me if IVF does become significantly more efficient than natural reproduction, but I doubt whether you could ever completely guarantee it would work."

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