The Malta Independent 24 September 2018, Monday

IVF: Health Committee approves protocol that allows fertilisation of up to five eggs

Friday, 14 September 2018, 16:43 Last update: about 9 days ago

Parliament’s health committee has unanimously approved the protocol that will allow for the additional fertilisation of eggs in the IVF process.

The protocol gives the Embryo Protection Authority the power to authorise the fertilisation of up to give eggs.

A multi-disciplinary team within the Artificial Reproduction (ART) clinic will decide, on a case by case basis, the amount of eggs to be fertilised.

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If more the process produces more than two embryos, these can be frozen.

In a statement, the health ministry said there are a number of criteria that have to be met for a woman to be allowed to fertilize more than two eggs, including factors of infertility, like polycsytic ovaries in women and azoospermia in men. Other factors include the age of the woman, oncology cases and IVF cycle histories.

Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne said he was happy that more Maltese citizens could realise their dream of becoming parents.

The controversial law was passed in June of this year. It was the introduction of embryo freezing and embryo adoption. It also allows gay couples to make use of IVF.

Under the old law, couples could only fertilise a maximum of two eggs.

The anonymity previously proposed for gamete and ova donation was partially lifted when compared with earlier versions of the bill, meaning that children conceived as a result of medically assisted pregnancy will be allowed to find out who their biological parents are, once they reach 18. 

The amendments had initially included altruistic surrogacy, but the government later decided that this would be presented at a later stage under a separate Bill. 

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