Updated on 9 July 2013
Results from a study showed similar success rates between the standard and low-cost system and two-thirds of the top quality embryos from 35 cycles as assessed by an independent expert came from the simplified system.
"Our initial results are proof of principle that a simplified culture system designed for developing countries can offer affordable and successful opportunities for infertility treatment where IVF is the only solution. This is a major step towards universal fertility care," said Dr Klerkx.
Experts at the annual meeting where the results were presented said that this test had so far only shown to work in a developed world setting, using a laboratory in Belgium. They stressed on the need of conducting larger trials in one or more developing country so that the process could be fully tested. ESHRE estimated that the prevalence of infertility that lasts for at least 12 months is around 9 percent worldwide for women aged 20-44.
The researchers are now looking at building a low-cost IVF laboratory by November this year that could be used as a template for use in poorer countries. The team has said that this laboratory would also provide training for clinicians from developing countries.