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3-person IVF approved by HFEA – what does this mean?

Date:31 JAN 2017
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Founder of Louisa Ghevaert Associates

On 15 December 2016 the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) approved the use of a new medical technique known as mitochondrial donation at UK fertility clinics.

This means people at high risk of conceiving a baby with certain life-threatening genetic conditions can have the chance to conceive a healthy genetically related child. This technique is encompassed in a range of techniques often referred to as 3-Person IVF.  UK licensed fertility clinics can now apply to the HFEA for permission to offer this on a case-by-case basis to fertility patients.

How does the new 3-Person IVF technique work?

This new technique works by transferring the nucleus of an affected woman's egg (or nucleus of a fertilised embryo) into the shell of another woman's egg or embryo (having first removed the nucleus). This technique creates an embryo from the genetic material of three people.

The UK's response to mitochondrial donation

The HFEA'S decision to approve use of mitochondrial donation came after an independent scientific panel published its fourth set of findings on the technique's safety and efficacy. These findings recommended this new 3-Person IVF technique could be used cautiously in certain cases.


Read the full article here.