IVF women still receiving two embryos despite twin risk
The majority of women having IVF treatment still have two embryos implanted in the womb despite clinics being warned of the risks of multiple pregnancies and having targets to reduce them.Two thirds of women having IVF treatment have two embyos placed in the womb, increasing the likelihood of them having twins, figures from the regulator have shown.
It comes after the Daily Telegraph revealed that 100 feotuses were aborted last year because they were part of a multiple pregnancy which carries greater risks of birth defects and complications.
The latest figures from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority have shown that multiple pregnancies are reducing and are down from over one quarter in 2008 to one fifth last year.
Clinics have been told that women under 37 should be advised that it is normally best for them to have one embryo put back into the womb at a time.
However the HFEA data show that 64 per cent of women had two embryos put back in the womb last year.
Only one in six opted for a single embryo and a similar proportion had no choice because only one embryo was produced.
In 2010, 45,264 women had a total of 57,652 cycles, an increase of almost six per cent on the previous year.
This year clinics were set a target that no more than 15 per cent of their births be twins or triplets.
Tony Rutherford, chairman of the British Fertility Society, said the multiple pregnancy rate has dropped significantly as the number of single embryo transfers has increased from nine per cent to almost one in four now.
But he added: “There has been significant improvements but it is nowhere near enough to reach the 10 per cent multiple pregnancy rate target set by the HFEA in 2007.
“The targets are achievable, the philospohy behind it is absolutely correct and by doing so we will protect the health of mothers and their babies following IVF.”
Mr Rutherford said in Sweden the single embryo transfer rate was 70 per cent and the multiple pregnancy rate was five per cent.
Tags: Doctors, Health Professionals, IVF, Labour shambles, maternity, pregnancy, preventable crisis