The Guardian “World at ‘peak twin’ as birth rates reach historic high”

BFS Chair, Dr Raj Mathur, is quoted in The Guardian (12th March).  Read the full article here:

“World at ‘peak twin’ as birth rates reach historic high”


Raj Mathur

“It doesn’t surprise us that twinning rates have increased because the availability of assisted reproduction has increased and also because women are slightly older when they have their first children, and both those things will increase the twin rate.

“But at same time it’s very likely that if you look at western Europe, particularly the UK and Scandinavian countries, you might find that the rates are lower than they were in 2010 and 2015. The HFEA and the UK sector have achieved a year-on-year reduction in multiple birth rates, which were once at 20% and are now around 10%.

“I think we’ve reached a peak in terms of twinning rates from medical interventions, certainly in the developed world, but the spread of IVF in Africa and South America is still rather limited on a per capita basis, and there are vast numbers of sub-fertile people in Africa particularly who don’t have access to IVF. The challenge will be how to spread IVF to them without also giving them higher twin rates.

“The majority of twin babies are absolutely fine, but there is no doubt that a twin pregnancy carries greater risks for the mother and the baby, so when we can avoid it we should avoid it. The principle we follow is neatly summed up by the phrase ‘one at a time’,” Mathur said.