/Articles/Article/

The Latest Infertility Treatment

The process involves harvesting eggs from a donor.

The Latest Infertility Treatment

A pregnant woman, a sign of fertility

Share this article
Linkedin share icon
Whatsapp share icon
In 2018, a 32-year-old Greek woman, who’d previously undergone four rounds of IVF and two operations for endometriosis, when it was revealed her doctors were using a controversial fertility treatment – Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy (or MRT) – in an effort to help her get pregnant.  In April of this year, thanks to the procedure – although technically speaking, he has genetic material from three parents. While the idea of Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy has been around since the 90s and even produced some births in the US, it was banned by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2001.The process involves harvesting eggs from a donor, removing their nuclei, and then inserting DNA from the mother in their place before inseminating the modified eggs and transferring the resulting embryos to the mother’s womb.Mitochondria, as you may remember from school biology classes, are the ‘powerhouses of the cell’, converting nutrients into energy through cellular respiration. They are found in all cells - and they contain their own DNA. Every human alive today possesses mitochondrial DNA which they , although it only makes up about 1% of our overall DNA complement. Because donor eggs used in the process of MRT will contain their own mitochondria (and therefore their own DNA), embryos created and children born through this process will carry a tiny fraction, albeit only about 0.2%, of a third parent’s DNA.  This process, which was given the go-ahead for , has two main applications. For women with , the procedure can eliminate the risk of their passing a potentially deadly condition on to their children. The more controversial use of MRT is a fertility treatment option for women who have been unsuccessful with traditional IVF treatment. As yet, some scientists argue, we don’t have sufficient data on the risks of that 0.2% ‘other’ DNA to warrant its use over existing options.        For women approaching their 30th birthday, there’s an entirely different way to which is becoming more and more popular – freezing some of their eggs so they can continue to focus on their career now while keeping the option to start a family open later. While society and the role which women play might have changed dramatically, our biology, sadly, has not kept pace. And while fertility science enjoys some of the most rapid advances, improvements and innovations in the medical field, a woman’s age (or more accurately the age of her eggs) is still predominantly the most significant factor in whether she’ll have a successful pregnancy or not.   The involves harvesting eggs from a woman’s ovaries and placing them in a state of deep freeze using liquid nitrogen until they're ready to be thawed and used. The procedure has become impressively successful, with birth rates using frozen eggs now comparable to using fresh ones.   In addition, IVF treatment is also becoming safer – with a marked decline in the cases of multiple births (which are riskier than single childbirths). But listen up fellas, because it’s not just women whose biological clocks are ticking…Over the past few years, several studies on the effects of ‘advanced’ paternal age on the resulting offspring have made the news, indicating possible links between older fathers (we’re talking about 35 and above) and , risk of miscarriage and birth defects, and in children.Gloria Bachmann, MD, and the director of the Women's Health Institute at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School :“Just as people lose muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance with age, in men, sperm also tend to lose 'fitness' over the life cycle… As a society, perhaps men should be encouraged to bank sperm before their 35th or, at least, their 45th birthday, to decrease the increased risks on maternal and fetal and child health which have been shown to occur as a result of aging sperm.” Heterosexual couples who want children but feel they are not yet in a financial position to start their family may well want to undergo egg and sperm freezing as a joint venture!  And for the survival of the species in an entirely different context, an intriguing Spanish study has found that frozen sperm is able to conditions.

Pro Tip: Become a Blogger

Publish your own articles by creating your blog on The African Exponent. More info

Share this article
Linkedin share icon
Whatsapp share icon
Are you impressed, have any concerns, or think we can improve this article? Email us.
Follow us on social media and rss.
Linkedin follow icon
RSS follow icon

Next From Your Saved Articles

Log in or create an account to add articles to your saved articles list.

Related Articles

Pregnant Schoolgirls in Mozambique Can Now Attend ‘Normal’ Day Classes

Pregnant students in Mozambique are no longer rest…

Dec 25th
Kenyan Governor, Okoth Obado Chearged with Murder of Pregnant 'Student' Lover

Kenyan Governor, Okoth Obado has been arrested an…

Sep 23rd

Most Read Articles

1.

WHO met and WHO decided to chop African foreskins.…

Dec 10th
Chopped: Exposing The Colonial and Scientifically Dubious Circumcision of 23 Million African Men
2.

A look at costumes from within and without Africa …

Dec 9th
Miss Universe 2019: A Look at the African-Inspired National Costumes
3.

The presidency has defended the appointment, sayin…

Dec 9th
Gabon President, Ali Bongo Defends Appointment of His Son as Top Presidential Aide
4.

Nigerian inventor Jerry Mallo has created the firs…

Nov 30th
25-Year-Old Nigerian Inventor Releases First Nigerian Made Fiber Sports Car
5.

It has been an impressive year for Akech who won M…

Dec 4th
South Sudanese Model Adut Akech Wins Model of the Year

More Articles

The IMF reports accused Lesotho to cut down on sal…

Nov 28th

The president is accusing Qatar of using religion …

Nov 28th

The presidency has ordered Ambassador Oliver Nette…

Nov 28th

Looking to cut down on your home's energy consumpt…

Nov 27th

Due to climate change, Southern Africa has been af…

Nov 27th