Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

IVF Expert Launches His Controversial 'Eggs for Babies' Exchange

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

IVF Expert Launches His Controversial 'Eggs for Babies' Exchange

Article excerpt

Byline: ISABEL OAKESHOTT;LAURA SMITH

A LEADING fertility expert today made a controversial attempt to persuade women to donate their eggs in return for cheaper IVF treatment.

Professor Ian Craft claims childless couples can have families if they sign up to his widely criticised IVF programme - which he launched today in an orchestrated publicity drive.

He is encouraging women who have healthy eggs but need fertility treatment for other reasons to give away an entire cycle of their eggs to infertile women. After an interval of a month, a second set of eggs is removed and used for the donor's own IVF treatment.

But the scheme - first revealed by the Evening Standard last year - has angered campaigners who believe it exploits poorer people and enables wealthier women to buy their eggs.

They say egg-sharing schemes should be banned and have condemned Professor Craft's latest initiative.

Senior fertility experts have criticised the scheme because it puts pressure on women to endure twice the procedure of egg harvesting.

The process of stimulating egg production and then harvesting them involves powerful drugs and severe pain for patients. It is considered a major procedure akin to surgery.

Professor Craft today conceded that the over-stimulation of ovaries, minor infections or bleeding are possible side-effects of the procedures he carries out - but insisted that such risks did not invalidate his work.

However, some of his patients have complained they were left seriously ill.

One, 25-year-old Kylie Sidney, developed a potentially fatal blood clot after she agreed to give away her eggs. She became seriously ill after the second cycle and went on to suffer three miscarriages.

Speaking at today's launch of the egg-giving scheme by the Logan Centre for Assisted Reproduction - part of the London Fertility Centre - Professor Craft said: "We are trying to give more access to patients of all backgrounds because certainly your financial background determines very much what you can do. …

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