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Woman advertises eggs on internet to pay student debt

Fertility experts warn egg donors to use official IVF clinics after woman offers eggs for sale on Gumtree

Posted: 5 May 2010
by Kimberley Smith
Petrie Dish
Selling human eggs for IVF is illegal in Britain

A woman used the free classified website Gumtree to try to sell her eggs to couples having trouble conceiving.

Marje Khan, who attended Brunel University 10 years ago, told the Evening Standard she hoped to earn £4,500 from her eggs to pay off some of her £50 000 student loans.

“It seemed to be a good way of earning some money while at the same time helping a couple who otherwise wouldn’t have a child,” said Marje, who claims to have been unaware that it is illegal to sell eggs for IVF in Britain. The ad has since been removed.

Experts at the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and London Fertility Centre emphasized that prospective parents should only use licensed clinics.

“When people use IVF as a way of making money, they are often not aware of the full implications,” said IVF specialist, Dr Safaa Elgaddal-Maxwell. “In many ways, selling eggs is like selling an organ, but women think it is much less serious.”

“IVF is very safe,” Dr Safaa reassured, but added that donors need to be well informed of all possible complications however rare.

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