First Australian baby born via Vietnamese infertility treatment

By Le Phuong   October 30, 2023 | 03:32 pm PT
First Australian baby born via Vietnamese infertility treatment
Experts from the University of New South Wales come to HCMC's My Duc Hospital to study IVM in 2022. Photo courtesy of the hospital
An Australian baby has become the first in the country to be born using in vitro maturation (IVM), an infertility treatment honed and transferred over by Vietnamese doctors.

Bonnie Mable was born at the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney, Australia last week, weighing 4.1 kg, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. She was the first baby born in Australia through IVM, an infertility treatment that requires fewer hormones and shorter treatment periods than in vitro fertilization (IVF).

The girl’s mother, Leanna Loutas, said she and her husband Theo had undergone unsuccessful IVF procedures before.

IVF requires women to take hormones that promote egg growth, before the eggs are taken from the ovary.

Meanwhile, IVM collects immature eggs and matures them in cell culture.

With IVM, patients need little to none of the drugs required to prompt egg growth, and it only takes around two days for the eggs to be collected, compared with IVF’s 2-4 weeks. Due to fewer hormones and shorter treatment time, IVM is also more affordable than IVF.

Rob Gilchrist, a professor from the University of New South Whales and one of the architects of IVM, said Bonnie was the culmination of cooperation between scientists in Ho Chi Minh City and Brussels.

For now, he said, the new treatment is only suitable for around 20% of people eligible for IVF however.

Doctor Ho Manh Tuong from My Duc Hospital in HCMC said the transference of the new treatment began in 2018, when Australian doctors came to My Duc Hospital to study the technique. The process was interrupted by impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, but in 2022, Australia sent four people to Vietnam to study the treatment. They then succeeded in replicating the process in Australia.

Vietnam has been using IVM as an infertility treatment since 2007. 10 years later, the country became one of the most successful users of the treatment and transferred the technique to several countries, including Australia, France, Singapore and the U.S.

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