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Thursday 27th October 2016

Twins born from lab-grown egg

25th October 2007

Twins have been born to a mother using a new fertility treatment for the first time in the UK.

Experts now believe that the in vitro maturation (IVM) technique used in this case could be a good alternative to conventional IVF for some high-risk women.

The technique is cheaper and faster and under the process, women do not need to take potentially risky fertility drugs first as they do with IVF. However, its success rate is lower and it is not available on the NHS.

The twins born in the first use of the treatment in the UK were delivered a minute apart on October 18. A boy born first weighing 6lb 11oz and his sister who weighed 5lb 14oz are both doing well.

Under IVM, the mother gave birth to the twins using her own eggs matured in a laboratory after the Oxford Fertility Centre was awarded the only licence in the UK to offer IVM. So far, only about 400 IVM babies have been born worldwide, compared to 2 million IVF babies.

Consultant gynaecologist at the Oxford Fertility Clinic Tim Child says IVM has clear benefits over IVF for some women, particularly those with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Mr Child said: “IVF, overall, has a better success rate, but the side effects are higher. Patients should have the choice of an alternative. IVM is safer, simpler, cheaper and more acceptable.?

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority said it will closely monitor the use and outcomes of IVM.


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