Britain is the first country to start a new IVF treatment that increases the chance of becoming pregnant in older women. The new IVF treatment works by replacing the batteries in their egg cells so as to make them young again.
Unlike male sperm cells, egg cells in a female age with the body. The new treatment involves regenerating egg cells by replacing mitochondrial DNA and cell power packs.
The treatment involves harvesting the mitochondrial DNA from an ‘egg precursor’ cell, so that the DNA from an egg cell can be revived, thus increasing the chances of a woman conceiving.
The technique was developed in the US but care fertility, a private clinic in London, has applied to Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) for a license to run a trial in the UK. The pilot program would involve 20 women undergoing the treatment.
Experts opined that there is evidence suggesting that the mitochondria of eggs from some patients have poor-quality embryos after IVF. Few studies have shown that egg precursor cells can be harvested for their mitochondria and if obtained they are healthy mitochondria, rather than the problematic eggs. Earlier studies have shown that donor mitochondria give better quality and viable embryos.
The treatment will have a great impact on older women to have their genetic children. The chances of successful IVF drop from 32% of women under 35 to 2 % of women more than 44.