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UK couple have frozen egg twins

13 October 2005
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 330

A British woman has given birth to the country's first 'frozen egg' twins, it has been revealed. Margaret McNamee gave birth to twin girls Anna and Isabelle Fahey last month, following fertility treatment at the Midland Fertility Services (MFS) clinic in Walsall.

The couple originally had IVF treatment to conceive their son Matthew, now 22 months old. They decided to freeze the three eggs left over from this procedure, because creating and freezing surplus IVF embryos went against their religious beliefs. 'We simply couldn't countenance freezing embryos because we would have seen it as freezing little people', said Mrs McNamee, adding 'this was a way of trying to have our family while staying true to our principles'. The eggs were stored in liquid nitrogen for 18 months before being thawed. Two were fertilised in the laboratory with sperm from her partner, Michael Fahey, then implanted into her womb.

The first baby to be born following the use of a frozen egg in the UK was Emily Perry, in June 2002, also after treatment at MFS. Gillian Lockwood, head of MFS said that the three births offer hope to women who need an alternative fertility treatment to freezing embryos. These include women who have to undergo cancer treatment that could damage their fertility, those who have ethical concerns or those who have not yet met a partner. 'There is no additional risk to the patient or the baby from using frozen eggs, than from using frozen embryos, providing the clinic is experienced with the egg freezing technique', Dr Lockwood told the BBC News website.

A second couple are now reported to be expecting twins after having treatment using frozen eggs at MFS. 'We are thrilled to see this technology could produce another happy family', said Dr Lockwood. Egg freezing is much more difficult than freezing sperm, as eggs contain more water and therefore ice crystals can form inside the egg and damage it. Only an estimated 2-300 babies in the world have so far been born following fertility treatment using frozen-thawed eggs. However, recent advances in techniques that involve drying out, or 'vitrifying' the egg before freezing it look set to improve the success rate of the procedure.

Twins born after two years on ice
BBC News Online |  11 October 2005
Twins joy for mother who froze her eggs
icbirmingham |  12 October 2005
9 January 2006 - by BioNews 
A UK fertility expert has said that within ten years, a significant proportion of young British women will be cryopreserving their eggs in order to stave off infertility while delaying motherhood. Dr Simon Fishel, director of the Centre for Assisted Reproduction (CARE) in Nottingham, said at a media briefing at...
10 October 2005 - by BioNews 
A new technique for freezing human eggs increases the pregnancy rate per embryo transferred to 34 per cent, scientists report. A research team based in Japan, Denmark and the US, 'vitrified' the eggs on the surface of a fine plastic strip before thawing and fertilising them using intracytoplasmic sperm injection...
4 May 2005 - by BioNews 
A British woman is expecting the country's first 'frozen egg' twins, it was revealed last week. The 36-year-old woman is said to be five months pregnant, following the use of fertility treatments that included the freezing of one of her eggs. Doctors at the West Midlands-based Midland Fertility Services...
29 November 2004 - by BioNews 
The UK's first 'human egg bank' is set to open this week, according to an article published in the Mail on Sunday newspaper. It is said that the bank will store and offer for sale 'more than 1500 frozen eggs', which 'infertile couples can buy for their hereditary characteristics such...
16 September 2004 - by BioNews 
Italian researchers say that they have achieved 13 births using eggs that had been frozen and thawed before being fertilised and implanted into a woman. According to the researchers, who publish their findings in the September edition of the journal Fertility and Sterility, the study indicates that the promise of...
3 December 2001 - by BioNews 
Doctors at Midland Fertility Services in Birmingham, UK, have achieved a pregnancy using a human egg that had been frozen. This is the first time that such a technique has been successful in the UK, although it has worked in Singapore and Australia over a decade ago, but with very...
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