The BFS welcomes the HFEA report on Multiple Births (‘Multiple Births in 2019’).

The chance of a multiple birth following fertility treatment in the UK is now at its lowest ever, at 6% overall. At the same time, the chance of successful treatment – of having a much-longed for baby – continues to increase. This is good news for fertility patients in the UK. This progress has been achieved by professionals working in concert with patients and the regulator. Importantly, it reflects technological progress, patient empowerment and good clinical care.

It remains a tragedy that the variable implementation of NICE guidance in different parts of the UK (except for Scotland) means that many patients who need fertility treatment are not able to access it due to the NHS post-code lottery. Today’s report should give commissioners the confidence that, by funding the full implementation of the NICE guideline, they are providing safe and effective treatment for NHS patients.

The report also draws attention to higher rates of multiple pregnancy in Black women. The reason for this is not clear and more research is needed in this area. We support clinics in reviewing their embryo transfer policies in the light of their own data and that presented by the HFEA. We will continue to evolve our guidance in this and other areas to sustain and improve the results announced today.