Mother's agonising wait for another donation

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The Independent Online
'AGONY' is how one young woman describes the wait for a donated egg which may help her to complete her family. She has been waiting for eight months, writes Celia Hall.

She is one of 100,000 women in Britain who have suffered early menopause. She was 14 when her periods stopped: 'They had hardly started, then that was that,' she said yesterday.

At least this 27-year-old woman has one baby, an 11- month-old daughter who was conceived at the first attempt at fertility treatment at the Churchill Clinic, London, using donated eggs.

'I was extremely lucky . . . A friend of mine agreed to be a donor. I did not receive her eggs. She donated for the clinic and I was given the next suitable donation. It is good too, because it is my husband's sperm. It took about three months.'

Now her friend is too old. British regulations prohibit egg donation from women over 35. 'Our other friends are our age and having their own families. We don't really know anyone else who could be suitable.'

Although the clinic will telephone her when eggs become available, she still rings them every month. She is one of about 20 women waiting for donations and could wait up to 18 months.

In Liverpool, Nicola Skuse is more fortunate. She will be one of the first recipients of a new NHS egg donation programme at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. 'It should be October. We are absolutely delighted,' she said.