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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 May, 2005, 12:26 GMT 13:26 UK
Clinic creates frozen egg twins
Scientists at a Midlands fertility clinic have created what they believe to be the UK's first twin pregnancy from frozen egg fertility treatment.

Midland Fertility Services (MFS), in Walsall, said a 36-year-old woman will give birth to the twins in September.

Her partner's sperm was used to fertilise her own eggs which have been stored in deep freeze for 18 months.

In June 2002 Helen Perry was the first woman in the UK to become pregnant using her own frozen eggs.

'Real hope'

She was treated at the Walsall clinic and went on to give birth to a healthy daughter, now three.

MFS said its latest patient, who has not been named, had elected to freeze her eggs rather than embryos for ethical reasons.

She already has one child and approached MFS because she wanted to conceive again.

Doctors used the eggs produced from her first fertility treatment, which had been deep frozen for 18 months. They were defrosted and fertilised with her husband's sperm before being implanted back into her womb.

Dr Gillian Lockwood, medical director of MFS, said: "It is wonderful to have further proof that this new development can offer real hope of genetic motherhood to many women who require fertility treatment, including those at risk of premature infertility or those who have concerns about the cryopreservation of embryos."

Under the care of MFS, a patient's ovaries are stimulated with fertility drugs routinely used in IVF treatment and, after a few weeks, several eggs may be collected and then frozen in liquid nitrogen at -196C.

However it has a lower success rate than conventional assisted conception techniques, such as IVF, because ice crystals can form inside the unfertilised egg and damage its contents.

It is thought that only about 200 babies have been born worldwide using egg freezing.

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