Less multiple births recorded from fertility treatment

The Human Embryology and Fertility Authority (HFEA) wants to reduce the number of twins or triplets that are born after a mother has received fertility treatment since studies now show that these babies are more apt to die, be premature and be more underweight than “singletons.”

At least 50% of twins are born premature and have low birth weights of less that 5.5lbs about 2.5kg. The health of the mother can also suffer and premature babies end up costing the NHS higher sums of money.

HFEA started to persuade clinics in 2008 to reduce multiple births and at that time 25% of those that had received treatment had more than one baby. The goal is to reduce that figure to 20% before April 2011 and the authority said they were on course to do so.

All data has not been tallied however they have a new figure of 15% to reach by April 2012. HFEA’s Helen Richens says that will be real challenging but they hope to succeed. Currently many clinics implant as standard, two embryos hoping that one survives. In 2008 of the 12,200 successful births that followed IVF there were 15,000 babies that were born.