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Friday 28th October 2016

UK fertility safety worst in Europe

7th April 2008

New figures have shown that the UK has the worst safety record for fertility treatment in Europe.


The data produced for the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology has revealed that the chances of developing serious complications are up to four times higher in the UK than in other countries carrying out similar numbers of fertility treatments.

Britain has the highest levels of the most serious side effect of IVF-treatment, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), and there have been two deaths in the past three years.

Other complications from IVF have included severe bloating, vomiting and kidney failure.

There are fears that many cases are not being noticed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) with women suffering side effects being transferred to casualty or intensive care units.

Dr Karl Nygren, chairman of the International Committee on the Monitoring of Assisted Reproductive Technology, which monitors IVF treatments worldwide, said: “When it comes to measuring success of fertility treatments there are two measures: efficacy and safety. In the UK, you are good on efficacy – your success rates are in the top 10 countries – but your safety record is low.?

France and Germany carried out more IVF cycles than Britain but their OHSS rates are significantly lower.

The HFEA say women considering IVF should have a “full and frank? discussion with their clinician about the risks involved and about what other treatment approaches might be suitable. It added that overall scrutiny was difficult because at present there is no central reporting system.

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