“Third parent” technique can double chances of IVF success for older women

Researchers successfully split the eggs of an older woman with those of a younger woman

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Older women’s chances of motherhood more than doubles when their eggs are mixed with the eggs of a younger woman, reports the Daily Mail. Japanese researchers used eggs donated by young women to repair age-related damage to eggs, and now want to use this technique in fertility clinics. It boosts the odds of pregnancy, and cuts the cost and heartache of failed IVF treatments.

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Researchers took the nucleus from an older woman’s egg and swapped it into a younger woman’s egg, which had had its nucleus removed. This means a baby born after the egg was fertilised would effectively have two mums and one dad. Doctor Atsushi Tanaka said, “If we could transfer these constructed new embryos, I believe the success rate would be high.”

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Current fertility laws don’t allow babies with three parents to be born in the UK, but some people believe it’s only a matter of time. Others have criticised the technique, and Josephine Quintavalle, from the campaign group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said, “Nature’s way of doing things has been very successful and the idea that we can do it better is very presumptuous.”

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