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Boston IVF Pioneers World's First Needle-Free Saliva Test Used in Infertility Treatment; Patient Friendly Monitoring Replaces Daily Blood Tests

BOSTON, Jan. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Boston IVF, a leading medical practice providing specialized infertility treatment since 1986, today announced it has introduced the first needle-free saliva test that will replace daily blood tests needed to monitor infertility treatment. Following nearly two years of research, Boston IVF has proven that the hormone estradiol, traditionally measured in the blood, can also be accurately measured in saliva, virtually eliminating the need for daily blood testing during a patient's treatment cycle. A typical in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle includes eight to 12 days of hormone therapy to stimulate a woman's egg production and up to seven blood draws to measure estradiol levels.

"Infertility treatment can be very stressful and physically demanding for patients. By replacing daily blood draws with a very simple, patient-friendly saliva test, we can eliminate some of the challenges and painful needle sticks and make treatment more convenient," said Michael M. Alper, MD, Medical Director, Boston IVF. "Based on this new technology exclusively developed in our laboratory, our doctors can accurately monitor a patient's hormone response to therapy and manage treatment without requiring invasive blood work."

Patients can collect their saliva at home in less than five minutes, and drop off their sample for analysis each morning. Results from saliva testing are available the same day.

Research conducted at Boston IVF demonstrated that hormone levels found in saliva correlate with the hormone levels in the blood. Boston IVF further developed laboratory procedures, assays and the collection process that comprise this diagnostic breakthrough.

This new Saliva Monitor Test marks the latest in a string of "firsts" achieved by Boston IVF, including the first baby born in New England via IVF/ICSI, the first donor egg pregnancy and the first baby born in Massachusetts from a frozen egg. Boston IVF is the first IVF Center in the world to offer this needle-free option for blood monitoring.

"Our patients are very excited about saliva testing, as it saves them time, is more convenient and eliminates the anxiety and discomfort that we all know to be associated with blood draws," added Alper. "They now simply drop off their saliva sample in the morning on their way to work, and we call them in the afternoon with their results."

A typical infertility treatment cycle requires hormone therapy to stimulate the production of eggs (oocytes) in a woman's ovaries. By measuring female hormone levels, including estradiol (E2), doctors can monitor a patient's response to therapy. Previously, patients were required to have daily blood work throughout the treatment cycle to monitor these hormone levels.

Saliva testing is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and is already used in other areas of medicine, such as measuring the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

Pioneers in Infertility Care

Celebrating its 25th year of service to women and men experiencing infertility, Boston IVF has a history of pioneering important advances in infertility treatment and reproductive health, welcoming over 30,000 babies since 1986. Its renowned team of Board certified infertility physicians and researchers have achieved unmatched clinical success, including the first baby born in New England via IVF/ICSI, the first donor egg pregnancy and the first baby born in Massachusetts from a frozen egg.

About Infertility

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse (six months if the woman is over age 35) or the inability to carry a pregnancy to term, and affects 7.3 million people in the U.S., or 1 in 8 couples. Approximately one-third of infertility is attributed to the female partner, one-third attributed to the male partner and one-third is caused by a combination of problems in both partners or, is unexplained. 

About Boston IVF

With more than 30,000 babies born since 1986 and 12 convenient locations throughout New England, Boston IVF is considered among America's most experienced fertility centers. Boston IVF is a leading center for cutting-edge reproductive technologies and exceptional patient care. Please visit our website at for more information.

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