Mitochondrial donation: the opportunity to become a mother at the age of 40+

Mitochondrial donation or mitochondrial replacement therapy is one of the innovative methods of treating infertility. This treatment program is relevant to women over 40 years old who have treated infertility with IVF (in vitro fertilization), but with no success.

These patients have a low functional activity of mitochondria, the most important components of any cell (including germ cells). Therefore, mitochondrial donation, a procedure that is used in infertility treatment at the Вiotexcom reproductive clinic, is an opportunity for a woman to give birth to a long-awaited baby who will have a genetic connection with her and her husband (partner). But first, let’s look at what mitochondria are, which often called “cellular power plants” because of their ability to convert nutrient molecules into energy. Mitochondria provide cells (including female eggs) with the necessary energy for normal functioning and consist of two membranes (internal and external), and also contain their own hereditary material in the form of DNA.

Why is this procedure most relevant for women of older reproductive age? Because for the onset of pregnancy, a woman needs to restore the mitochondria of oocytes first of all, that is, eggs, the number of which decreases with age. If in the female eggs there are not enough functionally active mitochondria, then it is possible to become a mother using mitochondrial donation and by means of IVF.

Fertility specialists find an egg donor with high functional mitochondrial activity for a patient who wants to become pregnant. Healthy mitochondria are taken from the donor’s egg cell, integrated with the patient’s cells, then fertilized with the sperm of the husband (partner) in vitro. A healthy embryo is then transferred to the uterus of the woman.

Thus, mitochondrial donation is an assisted reproductive technology, thanks to which a barren woman can successfully bear and give birth to a healthy baby!