Cytoplasmic transfer is one of the latest innovations in IVF treatment. Cytoplasmic transfer in itself is not a treatment method, but rather is a procedure that is used in combination with IVF/ICSI treatment. The main purpose of cytoplasmic transfer is to help older women who are likely to suffer from infertility due to deficient or damaged mitochondria, contained within an eggs cytoplasm. Mitochondria found in the egg’s cytoplasm are responsible for providing the necessary energy for cell growth and effective cell division. Deficient mitochondria, therefore, will be unable to perform its duties and will not allow for successful cell growth and/or cell division. This can lead to recurrent implantation failures and high levels of embryo fragmentation, which are causes of poor embryo quality and poor embryo development, and therefore, an IVF failure.
Just like organ failures and cell damage, damage to mitochondria is observed in higher age brackets, therefore, women in early 40s are more prone to IVF failures due to damaged mitochondria compared to women in early ages. The difference between a regular IVF/ICSI cycle and the one which involves a cytoplasmic transfer is that, cytoplasmic transfer uses the patient’s own eggs, just like in an IVF cycle, but also requires an egg donor since the healthy mitochondria are to be obtained from young and healthy eggs to be obtained from an egg donor. The younger egg donor’s cytoplasm contains healthy mitochondria and helps rejuvenate the patient’s eggs and can increase the chances of success accordingly. The main principle is, if the patient’s eggs are given a more friendly environment to grow in (donor’s cytoplasm), then the egg will have a better chance to survive, fertilize and become a higher quality embryo. In other words, the patient is more likely to achieve success with her own eggs when her egg cells are given a better environment to grow, fertilize and to yield a higher grade embryo.
At North Cyprus IVF, we have been offering cytoplasmic transfer to our patients since 2012. Within the two year period, we have offered this treatment to a number of patients, however, the number is still insufficient for publishing statistically significant statistics. However, it will be correct to say that cytoplasmic transfer can potentially add a few percentages to the chances of success for women in their early 40s. Nevertheless, it should be kept in mind that cytoplasmic transfer is unable to correct for any genetic defects associated with the eggs themselves that may have arisen due to older age.
Cytoplasmic transfer is a procedure we recommend patients in their early to mid 40s. However, after mid 40s, chances of success with own eggs will decline substantially, therefore, we often recommend our patients to consider “IVF with egg donation” treatment after a certain age in order to offer our patients a decent chance of success.
Cell is the basic structural, functional, and biological unit of all known living organisms. An egg cell (oocyte) is a female reproductive germ cell which contributes to the formation of an embryo when combined with a sperm cell. Just like any other cell, the oocyte also consists of a nucleus, cytosol and organelles that together with the cytosol make up the cytoplasm. Organelles such as the mitochondria, the rough endoplasmic reticulum and the golgi generate energy, synthesize proteins and package proteins for transport to different parts of the cell. There are several mitochondria in a cell’s cytosol (the fluid section of the cell that surrounds the nucleus). Mitochondria are involved in cellular respiration as well as production of energy in the form of ATP. They are the cell’s power producers. They convert energy into forms that can be used by the cell.
As we get older, so do our cells. Building upon this principle, cellular organelles in the cell’s cytosol may fail to function properly due to the aging egg cells. This may suggest that the cellular organelles may no longer be able to produce the energy for cellular growth. Cytoplasmic IVF treatment is a treatment option which involves using an egg donor for her egg’s healthy and viable cytoplasm.
While the patient (recipient) is allowed to use the genetic part of her eggs (the nucleus), her egg’s nucleus is supplemented with cytoplasm from a young and healthy egg donor in order to facilitate cellular respiration, energy production, and therefore, growth. It should be known that this is still a new treatment method and is still being run on a “clinical trial” basis.
The cost of Cytoplasmic IVF Transfer is higher than standard IVF/ICSI treatment as it involves the use of an egg donor. Even though the egg donor’s own genetic material is not used during the procedure, she still donates her eggs for the cytoplasm. IVF treatment with Cytoplasmic Transfer costs 5,500 Euros at North Cyprus IVF Centre. This cost includes your egg donor’s medication, her compensation and all the medical procedures that take place at our facilities, including your consults and scans. However, the following are not included in the cost of your treatment:
– The cost of your initial testing and scans before coming to Cyprus. Initial testing will include ultrasound scans and a round of hormone testing for ovarian assessment as well as a semen analysis.
– The cost of your medication which will be used during the preliminary stages of your treatment. The cost of medication depends on where the medication is obtained and what dose is to be administered, therefore, it is difficult to predict prior to seeing your hormone levels. However, it can be estimated to be somewhere between 700-1500 Euros.
– The cost of your infectious disease screening, which needs to be performed by our own lab as a safety precaution in order to minimize the risk of a blood-borne cross contamination of the gametes and embryos in our laboratory. The cost of infectious disease screening as well as other relevant blood tests to be performed during your egg retrieval will cost 200 Euros.
– The cost of your accommodation while in Cyprus. More information on accommodation can be found on the “Accommodation” link.
– The cost of air fare and your personal expenses while in Cyprus.
North Cyprus IVF Centre is one of the most reputable and successful IVF clinics in the world. Therefore, majority of our patients come from abroad to benefit from successful treatments offered at low costs. Given that majority of our patients travel from abroad for treatment in Cyprus, we design our treatment programs so that some of the preliminary work can be carried out locally in your own country prior to your arrival in Cyprus so that we can minimize your length of stay down to 5/6 days. For patients who do not have time limitations, we can offer full treatment in Cyprus from start to finish with every aspect of treatment included as a package. This requires a stay of 18 days starting from day 1 of your menstrual period.
If you are not able to travel for such a long period of time, then we can organize so that the preliminary work (including infertility testing, ultrasound scans and medication use) can be carried out locally under our guidance and supervision and you can come to Cyprus to finalize your treatment. In this case, the steps involved in treatment are as follows:
1- Preliminary testing and assessment which will allow us to design your treatment protocol. If you are reading this page, it is very likely that you have already undergone fertility treatments and/or testing. If not, please visit our “Infertility Testing” page for more information on the initial tests that we require at North Cyprus IVF Centre before proceeding with treatment.
2- Medication use and local screening prior to your arrival in Cyprus. Based on your initial test results, we will be able to formulate your treatment protocol aiming to optimize the outcome of your treatment. We will be able to send you this treatment protocol along with your prescription so that you can start using your medication locally. During this stage, we will ask that you see a local gynecologist a couple of times for monitoring your response. If you do not have your own gynecologist, then based on your location, we may be able to recommend a name.
3- Arrival in Cyprus to finalize your treatment. Once you have undergone the initial stages of treatment, it will be time to travel to Cyprus to finalize your treatment. At this point, we will be scheduling your trigger injection, your oocyte retrieval and the medical procedures involved in cytoplasmic IVF treatment. This will be followed by your embryo transfer. Your beta hCG testing, which is a blood test which detects pregnancy, will be scheduled 12 days after your embryo transfer. This test result will let us know about the outcome of your treatment.
While Cytoplasmic IVF transfer is a medical breakthrough in assisted reproductive technologies, it does come with its limitations. In order for cytoplasmic transfer to work, the female patient undergoing treatment must have a certain level of ovarian activity. If the ovarian reserves have been highly depleted and we will not be able to obtain at least 2/3 oocytes at the end of an ovarian stimulation protocol, then cytoplasmic IVF transfer is not likely to work. Cytoplasmic IVF transfer is a treatment option for patients who still produce eggs as a response to ovarian stimulation, but whose eggs fail to develop into viable embryos or fail to generate a pregnancy.
At North Cyprus IVF Centre, we guarantee high quality treatment with maximum service quality standards at low cost. Our reduced costs are a direct result of the volume of patients we serve and the high-tech equipment we use which substantially reduce human mistakes and allow us to be cost efficient. Please contact us for more information.