Woman, 59, becomes oldest person ever to be offered IVF treatment by a British clinic

Daily Mail

By Jo Macfarlane
Last updated at 6:29 PM on 17th January 2010

Fears retired teacher’s move will open
floodgates unless age limit is enshrined in law

A 59-year-old woman has become the oldest person ever to be offered fertility treatment by a British clinic.

Doctors at the private London Women’s Clinic on Harley Street, one of the most successful IVF units in the country, have unanimously agreed to help Susan Tollefsen conceive.

Mrs Tollefsen, a retired teacher who turns 60 in October, said: ‘I’m still so full of life and healthy at 60 I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be treated.’

Until last week’s decision, older women have had to travel abroad for treatment – so-called ‘fertility tourism’ – because Government guidelines say the NHS should not recommend IVF to women over the age of 40 and private clinics generally will not treat women older than 50.

But in a move that has provoked an ethical storm over whether post-menopausal women have the right to fertility treatment, the clinic has decided to revise its policy.

Mrs Tollefsen already has a two-year-old child, conceived at a Russian clinic after she was refused treatment in the UK because of her age.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.