The British Fertility Society is pleased to see the publication of data on the side effects and complications of assisted reproduction treatments (ART). Couples undergoing ART are generally fit and healthy and so any complications are taken seriously. The main risk of ovarian stimulation is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) which may be serious and can lead to hospitalisation and rarely death.

This paper reports that the incidence of ART-induced complications is low and has decreased significantly over the last 15 years. Nonetheless any deaths as a result of fertility treatments should be avoided.

The BFS has written guidelines on the reduction and management of OHSS and supports the latest protocols for ovarian stimulation which mitigate against the occurrence of OHSS and thereby minimise risk.

British Fertility Society Chairman Adam Balen said: “I welcome the publication of all outcome data especially regarding safety of treatment. We continue to be concerned about the effects of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and as a Society have strived to keep risks down.”

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Notes for editors:

This statement is in response to the publication of the article “Safety of Assisted Reproductive Technology in the United States, 2000–2011” in The Journal of the American Medical Association. The complete paper is available online.

The British Fertility Society’s guidelines on the reduction and management of OHSS can be found in the factsheet entitled Risks and Complications of Assisted Conception.

For more information, please contact the British Fertility Society press office:

Fiona Docherty
Media Relations Assistant
Tel: +44 (0)1454 642 244
Email: fiona.docherty@bioscientifica.com

The British Fertility Society is a national multidisciplinary organisation representing professionals practising in the field of reproductive medicine. The British Fertility Society is committed to promoting good clinical practice and working with patients to provide safe and effective fertility treatment. For general information, please visit our website: http://www.fertility.org.uk/