The HFEA recommended that IVF clinics implant fewer embryos at a time, to reduce the rate of multiple births and the complications associated with them.
Professor Peter Braude, head of the department of Women’s Health at King’s College London, who chaired the expert committee and produced the report to the HFEA ‘One Child at a Time’, said:
“I welcome the news that the HFEA have taken our recommendations seriously and decided on a course of action which will reduce the number of pregnancies resulting from fertility treatments. We can no longer accept that more than 1 in 5 pregnancies resulting from IVF are twins or more, with all the attendant risks to the mother and child that this brings. After all, IVF babies also deserve the best start in life.
“I am sure that the involved professional bodies (the Royal Colleges of Nursing, Paediatrics and Child Health, Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and the British Fertility Society) will look forward to working with the HFEA and with the patient support groups to achieve this aim without significantly affecting pregnancy rates. Better and more equitable funding from the government for fertility service provision would greatly facilitate the transition to better practice.”