Surge in hard-up women offering to sell their eggs 'due to recession'
Donor compensation is limited to 750 per cycle for egg donors

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UPDATED:

13:46 GMT, 17 July 2012

A fertility clinic has no waiting list for treatment for the first time in its history because of a surge in hard-up women offering to sell their eggs.

Women desperate to have a baby usually face a long wait for a donor egg. However, a private hospital in Manchester say numbers have swelled after a rule-change means they are now paid 750 for each donation.

Bosses at the clinic at Bridgewater Hospital are convinced the recession is the main reason for women being prepared to give their eggs.

Fertilisation: Treatment with donor eggs is usually carried out using IVF. However, a resulting child can now find out the donor's identity when they are 18

Fertilisation: Treatment with donor eggs is usually carried out using IVF. However, a resulting child can now find out the donor's identity when they are 18

They added that more couples are also going through the egg-sharing programme, where a woman receives a cycle of IVF at a subsidised rate in return for donating half of her eggs retrieved during treatment.

The clinic’s Gidon Lieberman said: 'The fact that we now have donors ready and waiting is amazing news for the many couples who need donor eggs to get pregnant.

'The compensation increase was designed to properly compensate women for the time, commitment and invasive nature of being an egg donor, and it’s definitely raised awareness of the need for donors and boosted applications.

'That, combined with the sheer number of women we have taking part in our egg-sharing programme – currently around 68 per cent of our egg-sharers get pregnant from their subsidised IVF cycle – means we have, for the first time, no waiting list for treatment with donor eggs.'

Gidon Lieberman from the Bridgewater Hospital said it was the first time they had no waiting list for treatment

Gidon Lieberman from the Bridgewater Hospital said it was the first time they had no waiting list for treatment

Typically in the UK women who need donor eggs have either had to join long waiting lists for treatment due to a lack of donors, or been forced abroad for treatment where donor eggs are more readily available because of higher payments to women for their eggs and the guarantee of anonymity for donors.

In the UK donor compensation is limited to 750 per cycle for egg donors – but prior to April 1 it was 250 per cycle – and donors must agree to be identifiable to children who may wish to find out about them when they turn 18.

More than 4,000 babies have been born at the clinic in its 25-year history thanks to the expertise of the team, which includes embryologists, urologists, consultants and counsellors.