An experimental and much-hyped reproductive procedure that mixes DNA from three people is not effective at boosting the chances of having a baby for women ages 37 and older, according to doctors at a fertility clinic in Ukraine.
The technique, known as mitochondrial replacement therapy, involves taking a woman’s egg and shifting the majority of its DNA, known as the nucleus, into a hollowed-out donor egg.
The doctors at the Nadiya Clinic performed mitochondrial replacement therapy on 30 women ages 37 to 47 who were seeking treatment for infertility due to advanced age. Out of 109 lab-fertilized eggs, only 33 became embryos, and just three of those embryos were healthy enough to be implanted into patients. A fetal heartbeat was confirmed in only one patient, a 42-year-old woman who gave birth to a boy in March 2018. The authors report that the child is healthy.
In light of their results, the researchers recommend that women of so-called advanced maternal age, considered age 35 and older by fertility doctors, should not undergo mitochondrial replacement to increase their chances of having a baby.
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