Infertile women forced to use donor eggs still pass their DNA to their child. The 'amazing discovery' was made by scientists at a fertility clinic
Scientists have discovered that infertile women who are forced to use donor eggs do still pass their own DNA to their child.
It has been hailed as 'an amazing discovery' by Nick Macklon, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Southampton.
It was previously believed that the fertilised egg used to make the embryo only had DNA from the father and donor mother.
Researchers have found that infertile women who are forced to use donor eggs do still pass their own DNA to their child. Professor Macklon told the Sunday Express: 'One sadness infertile women experience is that their child has none of their genetic information. 'This research shows in principle the baby will have some DNA from her even though the egg is from another woman. 'This seems to influence the way the baby develops.'
The study involved 20 women based at a leading Spanish fertility clinic. It led to the discovery that fluid in the uterus of the mother contains genetic material. It has been hailed as 'an amazing discovery' by Nick Macklon, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Southampton. It has been hailed as 'an amazing discovery' by Nick Macklon, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Southampton
Such a finding reveals a major step in the understanding of how the womb environment affects the development of the embryo. The research follows a study earlier this year at another fertility clinic, which found that at 44 it is almost 20 times harder to get pregnant through IVF than at 39. The rapid speeding up of their biological clock means women in their mid-40s have only a 1.3 per cent chance of the treatment working. But at the ages of 38 or 39 the success rate is 23.6 per cent.
The point at which fertility starts to fall significantly is 38, according to researcher Marta Devesa. ‘The prognosis is really futile from 44 and onward,’ she said. Yet the growth of delayed motherhood means a fifth of British IVF patients are in their 40s. The study figures come from a Spanish clinic that treated 4,195 patients in 12 years, some had multiple IVF attempts and older patients were surprised when told just how low their chances were.
There is not a lot of knowledge about fertility’s decline with age in the general population,’ she added. ‘And it is true that pregnancies in older women and celebrities don’t help us because many people don’t know that most of the time they have gone for egg donation.’