A woman's bid to have a baby using her dead husband's sperm has suffered a setback.
Rachel Wyke, a beauty counter assistant from Walsall, was told her fertility treatment had failed at the final hurdle.
Mrs Wyke, aged 23, lost her husband Gareth to testicular cancer in 2003 but during his struggle with the disease he froze two samples of his sperm.
Earlier this year she was given the go-ahead by doctors at Birmingham Women's Hospital to use a fertility procedure called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
The procedure involves extracting an egg and injecting into it a single sperm.
Mrs Wyke's courage and determination saw her overcome a string of hurdles such as beating a gynaecological condition herself and finding healthy samples of sperm to use for the treatment.
Last week she underwent a general anaesthetic for an operation remove three eggs from her ovaries. Doctors then injected the egg with the sperm cells which doctors pronounced suitable for use.
However, none of the combined cells reproduced to form embryos.
Last nightMrs Wyke was too upset to speak.
Her father Steve Bullock said: "She is absolutely devastated. She had tried not to get her hopes up too much but she was feeling quite positive until the hospital phoned to give her the news.
"You can't help hoping, then everything happened all at once."
Mr Bullock said his daughter was not making any decisions yet about a second bid with the remaining sperm.
Mrs Wyke was ineligible for IVF treatment under the NHS because she was a widow.