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Many couples were faced with waits or two or more years with hundreds forced abroad for expensive and risky treatment where regulations are not as strict.

On October last year the fertility regulator changed the payment system to egg donors so they received a lump sum of almost £750.

A survey of fertility clinics carried out by the Telegraph has found that the average waiting time has now halved compared with the previous system when expenses and loss of earnings payments were capped at £250.

Experts said there is no longer any need for any British patient to travel abroad for donor egg treatment as many clinics have no waiting list at all.

The Telegraph conacted a total of 97 clinics were contacted and 37 responded.

The results showed that the average waiting time before October 2011 was 13.1 months compared with 6.75 months this October.

The longest waiting time before the change was two years and the shortest afterwards was none, meaning women could be matched with donors immediately.

Before the changes clinics had on average 51 couples waiting...