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Tuesday, 23 October, 2001, 18:52 GMT 19:52 UK
IVF clinic 'egg-share' scheme
Eggs will be given to other patients
A private fertility clinic is offering free IVF treatment to women in return for egg donation.

The "egg-sharing" initiative at the Sheffield Fertility Centre - where IVF costs a minimum of 1,500 - aims to help couples who would otherwise not be able to afford the treatment.

Women who are accepted for the programme "share" their eggs with other patients who cannot produce their own and who would normally be placed on long waiting lists for altruistic donations.

Liz Lenton, director of the clinic, said: "There are a lot of patients out there who can't afford to have IVF treatment themselves, and there's also another group who are desperate for eggs.

Fertility treatment
IVF treatment can be very costly
"This scheme brings the two groups together - it really is a sharing activity."

Women who wish to be considered for the initiative must be under 36 and should be known to be "responsive" to IVF treatment, added Ms Lenton.

Although the fertility treatment itself is free, patients will be asked to make a 500 contribution to cover the costs of screening tests.

The initiative has been launched after a successful two-year pilot run at the clinic in Glen Road, Sheffield.

Ms Lenton said that previous patients have shown that their chances of conceiving after IVF were not affected by their egg donation.

She added: "They still have a 46% successful pregnancy rate even though they have given away half of their eggs."

Click here for more from BBC South Yorkshire Online
See also:

11 Jul 00 | Background Briefings
The future of fertility
31 Mar 99 | Medical notes
18 Aug 98 | Health
Fertilise now, get pregnant later
31 Mar 99 | Health
IVF: the drawbacks
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