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More women having single embryo transfers during fertility treatment, Europe-wide study suggests

HFEA responds to preliminary data from the ESHRE European IVF-monitoring Consortium (EIM).

Data collected from many European countries suggests that IVF and ICSI cycles using a single embryo transfer increased between 2019 and 2020. This is encouraging as single transfers are safer for the recipient and baby.

The preliminary data from the ESHRE European IVF-monitoring Consortium (EIM) has been presented at The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) annual meeting, which started yesterday. This conference provides a platform for medical professionals and researchers to come together to share and promote the latest research in reproductive science and medicine as well as the treatment of infertility.

In response to this data, Clare Ettinghausen, Director of Strategy & Corporate Affairs, Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA), said: “The preliminary data from the ESHRE European IVF-monitoring Consortium (EIM) is encouraging as it shows an increase in the use of single embryo transfer, which is good news for the health and safety of patients and their babies.

“The UK data is more promising following the launch of the ‘One at a time’ campaign in 2007 the use of single embryo transfers greatly increased for all age groups. Single embryo transfers increased most for patients aged 18-35 from 13% use in 2007 to 83% use in 2019.

“Multiple birth rates have reduced significantly in the UK since the early 1990s when they stood at around 28%. Our latest preliminary data shows that in 2021, the average multiple birth rate decreased to an all-time low of 5% and all while birth rates have continued to rise. With further research and the sharing of best practice, I hope globally, multiple birth rates continue to fall, particularly as we know some patients in the UK choose to have their treatment abroad.”


Review date: 27 June 2025