British IVF clinic to help women have babies at 58.
Record numbers of women are attempting to become pregnant after the menopause, according to doctors. While the NHS has a cut-off point of 39 for IVF treatment, most private clinics allow women to try to conceive up to the age of 50.
The London Women's Clinic has now said it will consider women aged over 55, and is set to give fertility treatment to two women who are both 58-years-old.
The clinic argued the change was necessary because women were living longer and that other centres would be obliged to review their policies. Its medical director Peter Bowen-Simpkins said numbers contacting the clinic in the last month were still small but represented a huge rise overall.
Until now, only eight women over 55 had contacted the clinic for fertility treatment in the last five years. Since the change in policy, however, six over that age have sought consultation over IVF. The clinic is still deciding whether to agree to the treatment.
Mr Bowen-Simpkins told the Evening Standard: 'These are women who wouldn't have even bothered to contact us in the past. Instead, they would have gone abroad. Now they know there is a chance they might get treatment here.'
The clinic provoked an ethical storm last month after it emerged that doctors held a consultation with Susan Tollefsen, 59, a retired special needs teacher from Essex.
Mrs Tollefsen had her first child aged 57 at a Moscow clinic and would be the oldest woman in the UK to have an IVF baby if she went ahead with treatment. The development comes amid growing debate over the age at which women should be allowed to receive fertility
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