“The British Fertility Society recognised the importance of undertaking basic research on human eggs in order to understand the causes of infertility and also to facilitate research in regenerative medicine. Because of this, we consulted our membership at the time of the consultation and fed our response back to the HFEA.

“The response of our members was that women should have the right as autonomous individuals to give informed consent for procedures which may yield great benefit to society. However, many members are concerned about eggs obtained during a woman’s IVF treatment being donated to projects of research as part of an egg sharing arrangement for which they receive Benefits in Kind.

“Whilst members feel more comfortable with such donations being made to another infertile woman, they see a distinction between this and donating to projects of research. The BFS therefore supports the concept of non- patient donors being able to make donations to research, but our members have mixed views on this being done by women who are patients themselves.”

Dr Allan Pacey, Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield and Secretary of the British Fertility Society.