One embryo ‘makes IVF less risky’

Implanting only one embryo makes IVF treatment 'less risky'

Women should have just one embryo implanted during IVF treatment to avoid having unsafe twin births, medical experts have warned.

The latest advice comes after a British study highlighted an emerging practice that has the same success rate with just one embryo as two.

Current practice sees most women undergoing IVF implanted with two or more embryos to increase their chances of getting pregnant.

The treatment has seen a growth in multiple births with twins making up one in four births, compared to only one in 80 who have conceived naturally.

However, twins or triplets are more likely to die before or during birth or suffer severe disabilities such as cerebral palsy. And now scientists estimate 126 fewer babies would die each year if all IVF children were single births.

Dr Gillian Lockwood of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’s ethics committee said: ‘Multiple pregnancies do not give you two for the price of one, they carry with them significant risks and dangers.’

Dr Yakoub Khalaf who carried out the study also commented: This is not just a politically correct message we are trying to get across that multiple births are dangerous.’

He added: ‘This is a serious issue and the heartache is palpable. Every day we see cases of women who lose their pregnancies at 22 weeks because they have had more than one embryo implanted.’

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