Going Abroad for IVF? The Risks of Multiple Births from Foreign Clinics

7th June 2017 in IVF

Have you ever considered going abroad for IVF? Doctors fear that increasing numbers of couples that have foreign treatment are returning with multiple pregnancies.

Such is the concern on the pressure this is causing the NHS that an investigation has now been launched into multiple births following IVF treatment abroad.

In the UK, IVF twin or triplet pregnancies have decreased after the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) implemented guidelines for clinics, which have to actively minimise multiple births.

But foreign clinics do not have the same guidelines – and so many doctors are routinely transferring high numbers of embryos with no concern about the impact on mother and baby.

The practice carries increased health risks to mothers and babies including pregnancy complications, miscarriage and premature delivery, in addition to adding a significant cost burden to the NHS.

Single Embryo Transfer: Why it doesn’t reduce your chances of pregnancy

At Manchester Fertility, in line with HFEA guidelines, if you have a good IVF prognosis we recommend a Single Embryo Transfer (SET), where only one good quality embryo is transferred per cycle.

But this doesn’t mean reduced chances of IVF success. Contrary to popular belief, transferring two or three embryos doesn’t double or triple your chance of having a baby.

Studies have shown that transferring only one embryo doesn’t impact pregnancy rates, if the embryo is of high quality.

Our Single Embryo Transfer approach isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ policy however. How many embryos we transfer is tailored to you – it could be that transferring two embryos is best for you.

We use many different factors to decide embryo transfer numbers for your IVF cycle such as your age, medical history, previous IVF outcome and quality of your embryos.

No matter how many embryos are transferred, at Manchester Fertility our goal is always a healthy pregnancy, birth and healthy baby for all our patients. You can be assured that whatever we recommend, we always have your best interests – and those of your baby – in mind.

Start private IVF treatment in Cheshire

If you’d like to have IVF treatment with us, we have no waiting lists for IVF consultations. Speak to our friendly Patient Advisors to start your journey on 0161 300 2737 or self-refer here to get started, you don’t need a GP referral.

Last updated: 21st January 2020