Women facing infertility have been given new hope after British scientists managed to grow human eggs in a laboratory for the first time.

The researchers were able to grow the eggs from immature cells taken from human ovarian tissue – something that has only been achieved in mice before.

The technique paves the way for harvesting thousands of eggs from a small piece of ovarian tissue. Existing techniques yield only a small number. These eggs, once grown to maturity, could be used in IVF – or frozen to be used at a later date.