A new infertility treatment
has been used successfully for the first time in the UK, resulting in the birth of twins.
The baby boy and girl, whose names have not been released to the media, were born on October 18th and are said to be doing well.
The children were conceived using in vitro maturation (IVM), a technique that avoids the controversial fertility drugs used in standard IVF.
Available only as private treatment, the technique allows women to give birth using their own eggs, which are matured in a laboratory.
While IVF involves hormone injections so that mature eggs can be retrieved from the woman's ovaries, IVM allows immature eggs to be retrieved and then matured in the laboratory.
Tim Child, a consultant gynaecologist at the Oxford Fertility Clinic, told the BBC that IVM reduces the inconvenience and discomfort of IVF, is shorter and less expensive, and avoids the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, which can be dangerous.
"Patients should have the choice of an alternative. IVM is safer, simpler, cheaper and more acceptable," he said.