Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Guide for Couples in Fertility Clinic Hunt

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Guide for Couples in Fertility Clinic Hunt

Article excerpt

Byline: REBECCA SMITH

THE chances of having a baby through fertility treatment in London clinics are detailed today in a new guide.

The fertility watchdog highlights some of the problems couples may face trying to start a family and the treatments available, while a new interactive website lets them check success rates of clinics near them.

Success rates vary nationally from a one in 10 chance of a woman under 35 giving birth after treatment at a centre in Darlington, to a better-than one in two chance in central London. The guide shows: . Between April 2003 and March 2004 there were 10,242 children born following fertility treatment.

. The live birth rate per treatment is 21.6 per cent, up on last year and comparable to natural conception in healthy women under 35.

. Birth rates rose across all

age groups and nearly one in four IVF births resulted in twins or triplets.

. The Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre in London has the highest live birth rate - but also the highest multiple birth rate.

. The fertility units at Bart's and Guy's hospitals have the lowest multiple birth rates in London and live birth rates above average.

One in seven couples is thought to have problems starting a family, which is about 3.5 million nationally.

In London there are thought to

be 250,000 couples with difficulties.

There are 22 licensed clinics in the capital, although not all offer the full range of treatments.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, which produced the figures, said the differing success rates can be due to clinics treating a higher number of older women plus those with complex problems and low chances of getting pregnant, so patients should not base their choice of clinic on live birth rate alone. Authority chairwoman Dame Suzi Leather warned that some clinics still put too many embryos into the womb, resulting in multiple pregnancies which can jeopardise both mother and babies.

The risk of death before birth or in the first week of life is four times greater in twins and seven times greater in triplets. …

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