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egg for ivf

The UK’s fertility regulator has called for an urgent update to the law around egg freezing as rapidly growing numbers of women choose to undergo the procedure – often without being warned of the full financial, emotional or physical cost.

The intervention by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) came amid warnings of a lack of transparency around clinics offering the relatively new technology, and claims that women, often undergoing the process alone and potentially spending tens of thousands of pounds to do so, are not being sufficiently protected.

Clinics, experts claimed, are adopting “aggressive” marketing tactics, knowingly heaping on additional costs and not taking enough care of patients’ physical and mental wellbeing.

Meanwhile, patients have told the Observer they felt exploited and misled by a lack of clarity over the process and pricing structure. One woman said she was charged almost double the originally quoted price, while another said the process left her feeling so violated that it put her off having children.

The HFEA said the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act dates back to 1990, long before...