Improvements in IVF technologies enable us to incorporate the use of additional techniques and procedures into our daily IVF practice. One such innovation in fertility treatments is Cytoplasmic IVF Treatment, sometimes referred to as the “Three parent Family”. While the “Three parent family” has an interesting ring to it, it is more of a catchy phrase rather than being a fully correct statement.
Cytoplasmic IVF Treatment at North Cyprus IVF Centre has been offered since 2012. While it has been almost three years since we have brought this concept into practice, it is important to mention that this treatment is still in its infancy years and the number of cases performed are still far from creating accurate and statistically significant numbers. However, data so far suggests that cytoplasmic transfer is able to increase success rates by 4 to 5 percent compared to standard IVF/ICSI treatments.
What is Cytoplasmic IVF Treatment?
Cytoplasmic IVF Treatment is the treatment option suited for two types of patients:
– Patients with known mitochondria defects
– Patients in older age brackets with likely mitochondria defects due to oocyte aging.
As women age, so do their eggs. Just like any cell, the egg cells is consisted of a nucleus, which contains the genetic material as well as a cytoplasm, which surrounds the nucleus. Within the cytoplasm, there are many other organelles. One of the most important organelles in the the cell is mitochondrion (plural, mitochondria). Mitochondria are responsible for providing the cell with its energy, which facilitates cellular growth and development. As the oocyte (egg cell) ages, so do the mitochondria found within the egg cell. As the mitochondria age, they fail to provide sufficient amount of energy for growth and development, therefore, the egg cells start to lose their viability. This is precisely where cytoplasmic IVF treatment gets in the picture.
With cytoplasmic IVF treatment, a young, healthy and pregnancy proven egg donor is used, very much like an egg donation program. However, it is not the eggs, or the genetic material inside her eggs that we are interested in. Rather, we are interested in the cyoplasm of the donor’s eggs. In cytoplasmic IVF treatment, we extract the cytoplasm of the donor’s eggs and inject it into the eggs of the recipient. That way, we can provide a healthier cytoplasm (therefore mitochondria) for the growth and development of the recipient’s eggs. In a way, we make the recipient’s eggs’ host environment more friendly for growth. This provides us with a higher chance of IVF success when the own eggs of a patient is used in more advanced age brackets.
However, it should be known that this treatment also has its limits. This is a treatment option which provides a healthier host for the growth and development of your own genetic material. This is not a method that can correct and genetic problems with your eggs that may come with age. If the main reason why you are not able to fall pregnant or experience miscarriages is due to genetic problems associated with oocyte aging, then cytoplasmic IVF treatment is not likely to generate desired results and in such cases, IVF with egg donation should be considered.
IVF with cytoplasmic transfer is mostly recommended for patients with known mitochondrial DNA defects, or patients in more advanced age brackets who still have some ovarian activity, but standard IVF treatments fail to succeed even though the patient has viable oocytes during treatment.
Please check out our “Cytoplasmic IVF Treatment” page for more information.