MKR couple join in 10th anniversary celebrations

This year’s My Kitchen Rules (MKR) winners Dan and Steph Mulheron joined in the joy this month to help City Fertility Centre celebrate 10 years of providing fertility and IVF services.

Having opened its doors in Brisbane in 2003, City Fertility Centre is now one of Australia’s largest privately owned IVF providers and has helped in the birth of more than 2800 babies nationally for couples with infertility issues.

Chief executive officer and scientific director Adnan Catakovic said people with infertility problems today had a much better chance of achieving a pregnancy with the help of a fertility specialist than a decade ago.

“IVF science has progressed incrementally over the past 10 years with several significant advancements, including vitrification, blastocyst embryo transfers, advanced embryo selection using CGH, and advancements in culture media systems including EmbryoGen™,” Mr Catakovic said.

He said techniques such as vitrification gave IVF providers the ability to fast-freeze eggs and embryos, then successfully thaw them for later use, with far superior success rates than previously.

“Ten years ago we would never have thought that frozen oocytes (female eggs) would be able to be routinely thawed and achieve pregnancies, but with vitrification this is now being achieved,” Mr Catakovic said.

“In addition, the ability to test embryos for a vast array of conditions that may have been causing infertility issues, then select the most viable ones to try and achieve a positive pregnancy, is also remarkable.”

Mr Catakovic said the latest development in culture media advancements for IVF was EmbryoGen™.

“It’s a new type of culture medium that includes the growth factor GM-CSF Cytokine, which is naturally expressed in the woman’s reproductive tract, and early trials using this culture medium in IVF have shown some great success,” he said.

MKR’s Steph Mulheron said she and husband Dan had been trying for a number of years to fall pregnant.

“At the moment, we are trying to get as fit and healthy as we can and then we’ll give IVF another go, this time with City Fertility Centre, and hopefully science will weave its magic for us like it has for so many others,” she said.

Latest figures released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) estimate that 9 per cent of couples experience fertility issues and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) cycles have grown by 4.1 per cent in 2011.

Mr Catakovic said he expected growth in the IVF industry to continue steadily.

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