In 2015, the United Kingdom instituted a change allowing for the use of three parent IVF. This new innovation has the potential to make having biological children an option for many women who are carriers of certain genetic diseases that can be passed down to their offspring. Despite the change in the United Kingdom, many still have questions about the use of three parent IVF and its ethics.
With traditional IVF treatment, fertilization occurs after combing a single egg with a single sperm. Three parent IVF is slightly different, as it uses the DNA from three different individuals. There is a single sperm, an egg from the mother, and mitochondrial DNA from a donor egg. Mitochondrial DNA is responsible for providing power to the cells of the body, giving all of the DNA in the body the ability to divide and grow. Unlike nuclear DNA – a combination of genes from both mother and father – mitochondrial DNA is only provided by the mother.
If a woman has a defect in her DNA, this can make having children impossible or make it highly likely that her children will have birth defects. Children who are born with these issues have short life spans and a number of medical issues affecting major organs. Many of these children die shortly after birth, with only a few making it to adulthood. Three parent IVF gives these women the ability to have children because the mitochondrial DNA is from a donor egg.
The critics of three parent IVF believe this line of fertility treatments will ultimately result in custom designed children through the use of genetics. Additionally, there are questions about the long term impact on the child from this practice. Researchers feel as though all of the testing and research indicates the practice is safe and is used to help avoid defects, not to design people. The FDA is investigating both the safety and ethics issues of three parent IVF, which could ultimately lead to the practice being available in the United States as well.
Three Parent IVF Provider
To receive further information on three parent IVF or to discuss your fertility concerns, contact a member of the expert fertility team at New Hope Fertility Center. Please click the link below to enter your information and New Hope will contact you, or simply call 917.525.5496.