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59 year-old British Woman to have IVF treatment

By Andy Madden     Jan 17, 2010 in Health
A 59-year-old retired special needs teacher has become the oldest woman to be offered fertility treatment in a UK clinic.
Susan Tollefsen from Laindon, Essex, UK, has been offered fertility treatment at the London Women’s Clinic on Harley Street despite NHS guidelines that suggest IVF should not be offered to women over the age of 40.
Mrs Tollefsen was previously refused treatment in the UK but has a two-year-old daughter following fertility treatment in Russia.
The retired special-needs teacher was offered treatment at the London clinic despite suffering from a benign brain tumour, loss of hearing in her left ear, back trouble and has had a knee replaced. (The Sun)
She told the Sun: "I'm still so full of life and healthy at 60 I don't see any reason why I shouldn't be treated. I really want to do it - 110 per cent.
"I think if I had a magic wand and could knock 10, 15, 20 years off my life, I would - but unfortunately I can't.”
The treatment which would involve a donor egg and sperm from her eleven years younger partner, warehouseman Nick Mayer, will cost Mrs Tollefsen around £5000.
Mrs Tollefsen’s treatment has caused some controversy, with Conservative MP Nadine Dorries describing the plans as preposterous, believing that new laws should be made setting an upper age limit for IVF, She told the Mail Online:
Once you pass the point of natural conception, that’s when you should stop. We need to legislate for this because inevitably society will have to pick up the cost later. Perhaps the cut-off point could be extended by a couple of years into the early 50s, but moving as far as 60 – which is a huge leap – is slightly preposterous.
Josephine Quintaville, of the pro-life group Comment On Reproductive Ethics was quoted in the Online Mail saying:
This is extraordinary, it really is. You’re exploiting a woman and putting her at risk to fulfil the fantasies of another woman who can’t accept she’s gone beyond the menopause. There’s plenty of money in IVF and they’ll be inundated, I’m sure.
In a similar situation a 60-year-old woman, Elizabeth Buttle, gave birth following IVF treatment after lying to doctors about her age, telling them she was only 49.
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