F-2010-00203 - Twin births following vitrification

Summary of request

The Authority was aked for information about the number of twin live birth events recorded in the UK following vitrified blastocyst frozen embryo transfers (FETs).

HFEA response

We are unable to provide the information requested because the Authority does not hold it.  Although storing embryos is a licensable activity, the method of preparation is not separately licensable and the Authority has not consistently collected this information.

It may be possible to infer certain relevant information in the future as a result of the HFEA introducing,  in October 2009, revised licence renewal application forms, initial licence applications forms and revised forms for applications to change the activities for which the centre is licensed.  These forms collect certain supplementary information about the centre’s standard practice with regard to egg and embryo storage (including use of vitrification).

This information was not collected in forms used prior to October 2009 and, to date, only a handful of centres have submitted information using the new forms.  The information held by the Authority at 12 October 2010, shows that 9 out of the 13 currently licensed centres for which we have information via the clinic portal state that they currently use vitrification processes in embryo cryopreservation.  However, even with this information it may not necessarily be possible to establish the method used in all cases.

Page last updated: 09 August 2012