By Martin Beckford
Last Updated: 1:27am GMT 30/12/2006
A revolutionary fertility treatment is being developed that could provide a safer and cheaper alternative to conventional techniques, it was disclosed yesterday.
The new treatment, known as invitro maturation (IVM), is said by doctors to have had "stunning" results and helped more than 1,000 couples to have babies already.
It involves removing immature eggs from a woman's ovaries and maturing them in laboratories before fertilising them with a man's sperm, rather than using hormone drugs to stimulate the release of mature eggs.
Prof Svend Lindenberg, of the Nordica Fertility Centre in Copenhagen, told a London fertility conference that IVM was about to revolutionise fertility treatment. "We have achieved stunning results and demonstrated that it is possible to take an egg and fertilise it without having to use the heavy-duty drug approach."
So far only a handful of centres worldwide, none of them in the UK, have used IVM.