Pregnant again at 46, thanks to a friend

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The Independent Online
Linda Black, a 46-year-old social worker from Lancashire, is pregnant through in-vitro fertilisation, using a donated egg from a friend.

I KNOW people draw an analogy between using eggs from foetuses and donated sperm, but I think that it is different. Taking eggs from a dead foetus has a feeling of plunder about it.

It is different if someone is killed in an accident and they have made it clear, before their death, that they would not mind their eggs being used. But in the case of a foetus, that does not apply, because a foetus cannot give permission. It raises the issue as to who owns the foetus. Does the mother own the foetus? I don't think she does.

Then there is the notion of asking someone who is probably traumatised enough by having an abortion whether she would mind donating her eggs to someone who would like a baby.

I have a son in his twenties by my first marriage, which ended in divorce. I married again 14 years ago and we started trying for a baby about five years ago. I could not conceive naturally because there was something wrong with my cervix.

I started infertility treatment two or three years ago. Tests showed that although I was not menopausal, I was not producing enough eggs. I am what is called peri-menopausal. So it was obvious I needed an egg from a donor.

This is my second attempt at IVF. The first time, they used a fresh embryo. This time it was a frozen one. I am expecting the baby in February.

The waiting list to receive a donated egg is years, which is why I am so grateful to my friend for giving me one of hers. But most women do not realise it is something that they can do. Even before eggs can be used from people who have died, there would have to be an awareness campaign, so people could consider the idea before they died.

Linda Black is a pseudonym.

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