Brits warned against foreign IVF treatment
British couples considering going abroad for in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and other types of fertility treatment have been warned against the practice.
According to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which monitors fertility clinics in England and Wales, people who choose to have their treatment abroad should understand the potential risks and implications before booking an IVF holiday.
The HFEA says standards in many countries do not match those in the UK and patients should consider what happens if something goes wrong, whether their information is kept confidential, the legal position of donors of eggs or sperm and how they are recruited, screened and compensated.
Tales of foreign clinics offering treatments to patients that could be dangerous, such as implanting two or more embryos can increase the chances of having a multiple birth which can be dangerous for the mother and the babies.
Infertility Network UK, a support organisation, has supported the HFEA’s warning but says patients are being forced to travel abroad because they cannot access the treatment they need in Britain due to a shortage of egg and sperm donors.
This has led to unacceptably long waiting lists in some areas and some clinics have closed their waiting lists.
As many as one in six couples worldwide has infertility problems and fertility treatment is a multi-billion dollar global industry.
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