A UK fertility clinic has been approached by two women aged 58 seeking IVF - a move that could see them become the oldest mothers to give birth following treatment in the UK.

The London Women's Clinic confirmed it had been consulted by the two patients, but that it was too early to say if their requests would be granted.



It comes a month after a bid by a 59-year-old to have treatment at the same Harley Street clinic provoked debate over the ethics of helping women aged over 50 become pregnant.



British women aged up to to 66 have given birth following IVF treatment overseas.



But if successful, it is thought that the two 58-year-olds would be the oldest to give birth following IVF in the UK.



Dr Kamal Ahuja, head of fertility at the London Women's Clinic, confirmed the approach by the women.



He said: "They have approached us and we are talking to them. But we haven't decided yet whether to go forward with treatment or not."



Dr Ahuja continued: "They are not prevented from coming to talk to us - there is no upper age limit in the UK.



"But they have to go through a process, we have to talk to their GPs and look at their family circumstances and general health."



The specialist explained that anyone over 50 seeking treatment would have to be approved by the centre's Clinical Governance Committee.



He added that treating women above that age was very rare.



"For every 600 or 700 treatment cycles we do, we probably have one over the age of 50," Dr Ahuja said.



The centre also announced today the launch of the UK's largest sperm bank in a bid to help women of all ages become pregnant amid a shortage of donors.



The London Sperm Bank represents a merger of two Harley Street units - the Louis Hughes Sperm Bank and the existing service at the London Women's Clinic.



Dr Ahuja said: "This significant partnership will provide hope to thousands of women who may otherwise struggle to find treatment with the current shortage of donor sperm."

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