How have fertility clinics done?
The fertility sector as a whole has responded very well to the drive to reduce multiple births.
Visit Choose a fertility clinic to see each clinic’s multiple birth rate
Read our Fertility Trends report for national data on multiple births
How have clinics reduced their multiple birth rates? Since the introduction of the policy in January 2009, clinics have increased the number of patients having elective single embryo transfer (eSET) – they pick one embryo rather than two.
The number of eSETs as a percentage of all embryo transfers has continued to increase year on year, which has led to a considerable decrease in the multiple pregnancy rate across all age groups. In the right patients, the pregnancy rate from elective single embryo transfer is similar to the pregnancy rate from double embryo transfer. And the multiple birth rate is much lower.
History of our multiple births policy
In 2005, we commissioned a group of fertility and public health experts to report on the risks of multiple births from fertility treatment.
Read the ‘One child at a time’ report
In 2007, we ran a public consultation on how we could regulate to bring down the multiple birth rate.
Read the consultation document, ‘The best possible start to life’
In 2009, our board agreed its outcome-based policy.
Read the board paper
In 2011, we published a statistical report on the progress that the fertility sector had made to reduce multiple births. We published updates in 2015 and 2022.
Read the latest statistical report
Decisions to make about your embryos
Risks of fertility treatment