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‘Three-person IVF’ allows infertile couple to have baby in Ukraine in world first




A new type of ‘three-person IVF’ has allowed a previously infertile couple to have a baby in a world first. IVF is In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), an assisted reproductive technique (ART).

The baby boy was born in Ukraine using a technique known as pronuclear transfer, a method experts have called “highly experimental”.

Doctors in Kiev fertilised the mother’s egg with the father’s sperm, and then placed the combined cells into an egg donated by a third woman.


The egg was then implanted into the womb of the 34-year-old mother, who gave birth naturally, Valery Zukin, who led the procedure, told The Independent.

The couple, who had been trying to conceive for over ten years, “could not believe it, especially in the first weeks of pregnancy”, he said.

‘Three-person IVF’ has previously been used to prevent babies from inheriting serious genetic disorders, but this is the first time it has been used to treat infertility.

The director of Kiev’s Nadiya clinic told The Times the technique could in future be used to help woman in their 40s give birth using their own eggs.

However, scientists have warned the treatment has not been scientifically tested and as such could be unsafe or give women false hope.

Zukin said the treatment could help women who experience a condition known as embryo arrest, which affects around one in 150 IVF patients and causes embryos to stop growing before they can be implanted.

He shared a video on his Facebook page yesterday of an IVF fertilisation in progress, with congratulatory messages posted underneath by his contacts.

“Pronuclear transfer is highly experimental and has not been properly evaluated or scientifically proven,” said Professor Adam Balen, chairman of the British Fertility Society, reported the BBC.

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