Women tell of ‘bereavement’ because they will be too old for fertility treatment when the coronavirus shutdown ends
A technician injects sperm into an egg cell during IVF. Some women have had their treatment cancelled with only 45 minutes’ notice. Photograph: Phanie/Alamy
Thousands of couples may have missed their last chance of conceiving via IVF as fertility clinics shut their doors to patients on Wednesday. Some women who are only just young enough to be eligible for treatment will be too old in a few months’ time.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which regulates Britain’s fertility industry, has ordered private and NHS clinics to stop treating patients who are in the middle of an IVF cycle by 15 April. All new treatments have already been banned, a decision which is likely to prevent the births of at least 20,000 desperately wanted babies if it remains in place for 12 months.
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