Doctors in England have developed a new method for growing human eggs in the lab that would allow busy women to delay motherhood for years, the Daily Telegraph reports. The procedure, announced today, involves extracting and treating a tiny piece of a woman's ovary. It improves on current in-vitro fertilization procedures by removing the need for hormone treatment and serious surgery.
The new method hinges on using hormones to stimulate eggs to mature within the extracted piece of ovary, rather than pumping the drugs into the woman and then removing the eggs in a painful—and risky—surgery. Women who want to conceive later in life, or women about to undergo cancer treatments, could see the "huge benefits" from this breakthrough in five years.