‘Egg bank’ opens in London
A fertility clinic will open Britain’s first “egg bank” service this week allowing women to buy and sell eggs for use in fertility treatment. The service, provided by the London Women’s Clinic, will cater for the growing number of women wanting to start families in their forties, many of whom are unable to conceive. Although fertility clinics across the country are licensed to buy eggs from donors and use them in IVF treatment, the operators of the new egg bank claim it will be the first entirely devoted to the process. Donors will receive £750 for providing eggs, while patients at the Harley Street clinic will pay up to £10,000 for treatment.
It will operate like a sperm bank, allowing women to choose from a wide range of donors sorted by characteristics including intelligence and eye colour. The scheme, which will be launched officially on September 21, has been operating on a trial basis since January, with sixty patients already having donated eggs resulting in 40 pregnancies.Donors have been in their early twenties, while the average recipitent of their eggs has been aged from 42 to 44. Dr Kamal Ahuja, director of the clinic, said: “We are hoping to inform women about egg donation and to make it simpler.”