ABU DHABI // Doctors have hailed the advances in IVF technology that allowed Fatima Al Blooshi to have a baby who is genetically matched to donate stem cells.
The HealthPlus Fertility Clinic helped Ms Al Blooshi to conceive a child who could help in providing treatment to her daughter Hussa, who suffers from thalassaemia.
Mohammed Al Hammadi, chief executive and managing director of United Eastern Medical Services, which owns the HealthPlus network, said: “This unlocks doors to the treatment of many genetic diseases.”
The new technology was used to conduct tests on early stage embryos then place a healthy one back in the uterus.
This “makes choosing healthy embryos possible and thus reducing chances of genetic disorders”, said Mr Al Hammadi.
It also helped with identifying the embryos that are matched to their siblings so their stem cells can be used in treatment.
Dr Walid Sayed, medical director of HealthPlus Fertility Centre, said in Ms Al Blooshi’s first attempt lab tests on a cell from the embryo found that its tissues were not identical to Hussa.
So, the couple and the doctors decided not to return the embryo into the mother’s uterus and to repeat the IVF procedure again a few months later.
The second time the IVF procedure was performed, several embryos were produced for the couple. After performing the tissue tests, the doctors found that one of the embryos’ tissues were identical to the sister’s. Thus, the embryo was returned to the mother’s uterus and she resumed her pregnancy and gave birth to a healthy baby.
Dr Sayed said the IVF techniques had seen a “quantum leap towards increasing success rates”.
They allow “more tests on the embryos’ cells within the early days of the prenatal development” that “eliminate any kind of genetic diseases and to ensure the birth of healthy babies.”