An improved IVF drug that reduces the stress of daily injections is reaping success for a Queensland fertility specialist – one of his first patients to undergo the new treatment has delivered a healthy baby boy.
City Fertility Centre’s Dr Andrew Davidson said the new Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) drug, Elonva, was a slow-release product.
“With this new drug, the patient only undergoes one FSH injection during the first week, compared with daily injections with other drugs,” Dr Davidson said.
“Daily injections can make people anxious, and so we are pleased to reduce the burden of treatment.”
With traditional IVF treatment, women usually start daily injections from day two or three for up to 10 to 12 days, while the new treatment requires only a single injection for the first week.
Dr Davidson said Elonva was a significant advancement and improvement in IVF treatment.
He emphasised that Elonva was suitable only for certain patients, with the main deciding factors being weight, age, whether they have had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and any previous response to IVF.
Gold Coasters Jody and Mark Witchard were one of the first couples in Australia to use the new drug when undergoing IVF.
Mrs Witchard had been unsuccessful in falling pregnant after Mr Witchard underwent a vasectomy reversal, and the couple agreed at the outset that if it didn’t work they would not pursue having a baby any further.
However, Mrs Witchard said that while they both had children from previous relationships, they really wanted a baby together and had to give IVF a try.
“The thought of daily needles did not sit well with me so when Dr Davidson suggested trying Elonva it was an easy decision,” Ms Witchard said.
Mr and Mrs Witchard’s baby boy, Corben, is now seven months old and a bundle of joy, according to his doting parents.
Dr Davidson said he now regularly prescribed the new drug for suitable patients.
“In the past, one of the top reasons people did not proceed with IVF was due to their anxiety about the needles, so any advancement in IVF treatment that reduces the stress on the patient should be applauded,” he said.