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New DNA Test Is Basis for Groundbreaking IVF Refund Plan, Easing Financial Burden for Patients
Date:3/5/2009

NEW YORK, March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Sher Institutes of Reproductive Medicine (SIRM) announced today the introduction of the world's first CGH-Risk Sharing Plan that guarantees qualified IVF patients a baby or offers a full refund of the clinic's medical fees. CGH is an acronym for Comparative Genomic Hybridization--a genetic process that analyzes the chromosomal integrity of the egg or embryo prior to it being transferred to a woman's uterus in the course of In Vitro Fertilization.

CGH reveals whether an egg or embryo has the correct number of chromosomes. Too many or too few (referred to as "aneuploidy") will result in either a non-viable embryo, a miscarriage or, if implanted and carried to term, a birth defect. Because aneuploidy is the most common cause of IVF failure, identifying viable embryos for transfer to the uterus can significantly boost birthrates for IVF.

"We can confidently share the financial risks of IVF because of our extraordinary successes using CGH to select one or two of the best embryos," explained Dr. Geoffrey Sher, Executive Medical Director of the Sher Institutes. "This is why, using CGH, our success rates are high, while our triplet rates are almost nil."

In peer-reviewed and published clinical data from several studies, SIRM has established that the transfer of even one CHG-normal embryo to a receptive uterus produced a baby more than 60% of the time, regardless of the age of the woman producing those eggs.

A woman participating in the CGH-Risk Sharing program undergoes ovarian stimulation, followed by retrieval of her eggs and fertilization of the eggs in the lab. The resulting embryos are then tested using the CGH process. Any resulting CHG-normal embryos will be used for transfer to the uterus, one or two at a time.

If the participant does not conceive with the first transfer and has additional frozen CGH-normal embryos, the Risk-Sharing Plan provides for the transfer of the remainder--at no additional cost for SIRM's services--until she has a baby or until all the embryos are used.

"The biological clock doesn't respect the economic strains that we're all feeling. That makes access to cutting-edge technologies that improve the baby-making odds more critical than ever," said Pamela Madsen, SIRM's Director of Patient Education and www.fertilityadvocate.com blogger. "The CHG-Risk Sharing Plan is a giant step toward making IVF more efficient and cost effective."

While any healthy woman can participate, the SIRM, CGH-Risk Sharing Plan is best suited to younger women (under the age of 39), because they have the best chance of producing CGH-normal embryos.

"We're not encouraging people just to help them fail. Any healthy, fully-informed woman with a normal uterus who needs IVF can access our CGH-Risk Sharing Plan," said Dr. Sher. "Our money-back guarantee is also available to those using egg donors and gestational carriers."

If the patient does not have a baby after all her CGH-normal embryos (from the same IVF egg retrieval) are used up, she will be eligible for a full refund of SIRM's medical services, as well as for a second try should she so choose. Moreover, if following stimulation with fertility drugs the participant does not produce at least 5 ovarian follicles, she can elect to opt out of the plan and convert to fee-for-service IVF.

About the Sher Institutes for Reproductive Medicine

SIRM is one of the largest networks of infertility medical practices in the country. Founded in 1998 by Drs. Geoffrey Sher and Ghanima Maassarani, the Sher Institute family of practices has since grown to include 13 offices across the United States. Dr. Sher founded the first private In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) clinic in the U.S. in 1982. The

SIRM philosophy is centered on individualized patient care, backed by ongoing scientific and technological breakthroughs. SIRM has offices in Los Angeles, Chino Hills, Sacramento and San Diego, California; New York City, Westchester and Long Island, New York; Bedminster and Lehigh Valley, New Jersey; Dallas, Texas; St. Louis, Missouri; Peoria, Illinois; and Las Vegas, Nevada.

More information can be found on the SIRM website at www.haveababy.com.

This release was issued on behalf of the above organization by Send2Press(R), a unit of Neotrope(R). http://www.Send2Press.com


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SOURCE Sher Institutes of Reproductive Medicine
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