The end of IVF twins?

Fertility treatment restrictions could spell end for IVF twins

Couples who undergo fertility treatment have long known that the chances of having multiple births was high – one in four babies born after IVF is a twin or a triplet.

But new restrictions on the procedures could spell the end of the IVF twin.

Clinics are currently allowed to implant two or even three embryos to a woman’s womb during the treatment to maximise the chances of at least one resulting in a successful pregnancy.

But proposals from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority aim to limit women to one embryo wherever possible, to cut the number of multiple births and reduce the related health complications.

They say twins or triplets born after IVF are more likely to die before or during birth or to be premature, underweight or disabled – and that if all IVF children were single births, 126 fewer babies would die each year.

Multiple pregnancies are also more dangerous for mothers, who are at increased risk of miscarriage and complications.

But critics claim that limiting the number of embryos would reduce the chances of a successful pregnancy – and make fertility treatment even more expensive.

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