Higher chances of twins and triplets from IVF? HFEA lifts limits

29th November 2013 in IVF

This information was correct at the time of publishing. It may not reflect our current practices, prices or regulations.

From 1 Jan next year, IVF clinics will have more freedom to transfer more than one embryo after the HFEA lifted its strict restrictions on multiple birth rates. But does this mean you have a higher chance of twins and triplets from your IVF treatment?

The HFEA rules meant that IVF clinics had to ensure that multiple births only accounted for 10 per cent of their annual live birth rate, as a condition of their HFEA licence. Now, there will be no such limit imposed.

At Manchester Fertility, we follow the ‘one at a time’ Single Embryo Transfer (SET) guidelines to keep multiple birth rates low. This means that we recommend transferring only one embryo if you have a good prognosis for your IVF treatment. But we reach this decision in consultation with you, based on your individual medical circumstances.

It’s important to remember that only transferring one embryo does not affect your chances of pregnancy if your embryos are of good quality. Statistics have shown that a SET policy does not affect pregnancy rates from IVF; but it has reduced the numbers of multiple births.

So dependent upon your diagnosis, age, quality of your embryos and your overall prognosis for your treatment, we may still recommend transferring one embryo. Or, we may recommend transferring two, for example if you are an older woman. We do not automatically just transfer one or two, we make this decision based upon what we feel would give you the best chance of a baby.

And so whilst the HFEA relaxation means more women can have multiple transfer, it won’t necessarily affect your treatment as we will still only recommend what we feel is right for you, and that may be just one embryo. Multiple births do pose health risks, for you and any babies born with higher risk of complications and premature birth. It’s why the HFEA introduced such strict rules in the first place.

If you have any questions about our embryo transfer policy, please contact our friendly team – we’d be more than happy to chat to you. You can email us [email protected] or call 0161 300 2737.

Last updated: 29th November 2013