Do Women treated with donor eggs pass on DNA?

Do women treated with donor eggs pass on DNA to their babies? According to new research the answer is positive.

It has been previously shown by a study conducted at theepigenetics and donor eggs University of Southampton that the environment in which an embryo grows, that is the womb environment, can affect the embryo’s development. According to experts that event is related to epigenetics. More specifically the embryo’s genes’ activity may be turned up or down in response to specific genetic factors present in the womb fluid of the woman.

But how is this related to infertile women treated with donor eggs? Well it was previously thought that the embryo produced by a fertilized donor egg would share characteristics of the father and the egg donor, not the woman in whom it was implanted. However, according to a recent study conducted at IVI Valencia, a Spanish fertility clinic and Stanford University, genetic material of the pregnant woman was detected into the womb fluid. Laboratory findings confirmed that these fragments of genetic material in the womb are actually absorbed by the embryo.

Researchers studied 20 women, reporting the presence of DNA and its influence on how the embryo develops. This could mean a lot for many women getting pregnant through IVF treated with donor eggs, as they can feel they actually contribute to their baby’s development. It is uplifting to know that their babies could actually get something from them even if it is not their eggs.

These findings may be the first step in elucidating the complex mechanisms underlying the womb environment effects on the development of the embryo. Scientists consider the data provided by this study as an amazing discovery, encouraging infertile women who used egg donation as an IVF treatment by revealing that their baby will eventually have some of their genetic material.

The study, published in the medical journal Development, was led by Dr Vilella and Dr Simon who commented that there are still a lot of things to discover regarding the effects of the mother’s genetic material and how it confers with the baby.

What do you think of this piece of information?

Would you consider it as an optimistic approach of Egg Donation treatment?


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ERA test (Endometrial Receptivity Analysis) improves IVF implantation rates

A novel IVF test, called ERA test (Endometrial Receptivity Analysis) , that assesses the activity of genes of the womb lining seems to improve successful implantation rates according to fertility experts.

Quite often you may hear patients undergoing IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) treatment wondering what is the reason of their failed IVF attempt: ‘’my embryos are of good quality, I am healthy, yet I did not get pregnant. Why?’’. A successful IVF outcome basically depends on two major factors: the embryo quality and the environment inside the womb that will host the embryo.

ERA test - Endometrial Receptivity Analysis

ERA test is used for designating the personalized ‘’implantation window’’

So what could be wrong for women with good, genetically healthy embryos? Endometrial receptivity, fertility experts believe. The endometrium is capable of hosting an embryo only during a time specific point of a woman’s cycle, completing a successful implantation. This time period is called ‘’implantation window’’.

It was previously thought that this ‘’implantation window’’ is stable among 19th-21st day of a woman’s cycle. Recent research however reveals that for about 25% of women with good quality embryos and IVF failures the implantation window has just been transposed in time without any apparent medical cause.

Thus, with ERA test this troubling event can be overcome as it is used for designating the personalized ‘’implantation window’’ for each woman, something that no other diagnostic test could tell before. According to a pilot study, ERA test findings from 85 women who had experienced at least 5 IVF attempts failed at the implantation stage, suggest that 20-25% of embryo transfers happen sooner or later than the optimum time for successful implantation. In the past the only study available for assessing endometrial receptivity was an ultrasound scan.

Researchers of the study reported that 33% of women given the test had a successful implantation. That is significantly higher than would typically be observed for this patient population. These data suggest that ERA test can improve successful implantation and promote a positive IVF outcome by pinpointing a woman’s optimum time for embryo transfer based on the individual results obtained.

Have you been given an ERA testing prior your IVF treatment, or would you ask for it for your next IVF attempt?

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