WASHINGTON -- Fertility clinics will come under closer scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration, with plans under way to require the clinics to register and to get federal approval for some medical procedures.
An FDA letter was sent last week to remind fertility clinics that some procedures used to help childless couples will require federal approval and oversight.
A new fertility treatment that helps older women have children prompted the letter. But the FDA's Dr. Phil Noguchi said it is part of a growing effort to increase government oversight of the industry.
The letter went to several clinics that have been increasing the chances of older women to have children by injecting into their eggs the fluid removed from a younger woman's eggs. The treated eggs are then fertilized with sperm and a resulting embryo is implanted.
The technique, in some cases, has led to the transfer of DNA from the younger woman; some children born from the process have genes from three people.
The agency has shifted inspections so it can more closely monitor fertility clinics, and is seeking to add staff, Noguchi said.
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