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Professor Ian Craft
Professor Ian Craft
Professor Ian Craft is one of the best known and most controversial figures in the field of fertility treatment.

The director of the London Gynaecological and Fertility Centre has become known for his treatment of women who are in their 50s.

The clinic was in the news in 2002 after a 56-year-old woman became pregnant with twins.

He has also been criticised for an egg donation scheme which is run at his Harley Street clinic.

Harvesting eggs

Under the 'egg giving scheme', women undergoing IVF would give away all of the eggs from their first cycle of treatment.

But they would then be able to keep all the eggs taken from the second cycle of treatment, given a month later and receive treatment at a discounted rate.

There are already egg sharing schemes in operation but they involve giving a few of the eggs from one "harvest" away.

However, Professor Craft says the new scheme increases the chance of both donor and recipient becoming pregnant.

Succesful pregnancy

He argues that each fertility cycle may produce several eggs, but often only one or two of these are likely to be viable.

This means women sharing the eggs from one cycle have less chance of a successful pregnancy than if they have sole access to all the eggs.

Professor Craft also said that the shortage of donors meant they had to find other ways to encourage women to give their eggs.

Both egg giving and egg sharing schemes are permitted by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology, Authority (HFEA), which regulates fertility clinics.

Panorama: The baby business

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