IVF success for Bahrain hospital
Manama, October 23, 2007
Twin Bahraini boys are the first babies to be born through the Bahrain Specialist Hospital's (BSH) In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) programme.
Faris and Saif Yacoob were born on October 15 at the hospital in Juffair.
Faris weighed in at 2,500 gm and Saif at 2.200 gm and were born at just over 37 weeks of pregnancy.
They were delivered by BSH IVF programme director Professor Dr Salam Jibrel. Their parents Dr Ebrahim Yacoob, 58, and Arlie, 37 decided to go for IVF after a vasectomy reversal failed twice.
Dr Yacoob had the vasectomy about 15 years ago after the birth of his second child with his first wife, but when she died at a young age he remarried and wanted to have more children to complete his family.
'We tried a vasectomy reversal, but it failed twice and then we tried Intracytoplasmic Sperm injection (ICSI) and thank God it worked,' Dr Yacoob told a Press conference at the BSH yesterday.
'We are extremely happy and delighted to be blessed with two boys.'
In IVF-ICSI a single live sperm is taken and injected by needle into the centre of a mature human egg.
The eggs are extracted from the female partner through the vagina following ovarian stimulation to ensure that several mature eggs develop and then one or more are injected with a single sperm.
Once fertilisation has taken place, which is usually within one to six days, the resulting embryo or embryos are placed in the woman's uterus in a procedure called embryo transfer.
The BSH's IVF-ICSI procedures are supported by a laser to help in assisted hatching of the formed embryos, which helps to increase pregnancy rates.
Seventy-two couples have had IVF trials since the programme was launched 10 months ago and other births are expected in the coming weeks and months.
A cycle of IVF costs an average of BD1,800 and the success rate is 35 to 40 per cent.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), almost 15pc of couples have infertility problems and almost half of them will have IVF treatment.
'IVF-ICSI is the most advanced technology in assisted reproduction and our pregnancy rates are as good as any in the region and world,' said Dr Jibrel, who is also obstetrics and gynaecology services head and consultant.
'The success rate at BSH is about 42pc.
'The best age for IVF is less than 38, but that doesn't mean women at 40 or 42 aren't able to benefit if we get eggs from them we can freeze and implant them later.'
The BSH IVF laboratory is the first in Bahrain and the region to offer fertility preservation procedures for female cancer patients that need to have chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
In female patients, ovarian tissue is removed by laproscopy to be transplanted later when she has completed her chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
'Our first patient was a woman in her early 30s who had breast cancer,' said Dr Jibrel.
'It's a one-hour procedure that requires general anaesthesia.
'Tissue will be taken and frozen and later the ovarian tissue is thawed and re-implanted.
'Ovarian tissue cryopreservation has been performed in humans for less than a decade and the first ovarian transplant procedure was reported in 2000.'
BSH also offers pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for patient suffering from hereditary diseases and to rule out Down Syndrome or other chromosomal syndromes.
This can be helpful for patients who have abnormal chromosomes that may have an affect on their children.
Such diseases can be inherited through sex chromosomes and by performing a PGD Fluorescent In-situ Hybridisation test you can determine the sex of the embryos.
'We do sex determination if there is an hereditary disease in the family,' explained Dr Jibrel. 'If boys have the disease we exclude the XY chromosomes and implant female chromosomes - and vice-versa if the disease is in girls.'