A proposed IVF ban could lower twin births

September 18, 2006

With increasing numbers of twins swamping intensive care units, British women may soon be barred from having twins through in vitro fertilization treatment.

Twin births have doubled since the 1970s, and one result is increasing demand for access to neonatal intensive care beds, the Times of London reported.

Women are currently allowed to have two embryos implanted to increase their chances of fertility. Under proposals drawn up by a group of leading doctors, would-be mothers will only be allowed to have one embryo implanted, the newspaper said.

Doctors say twin pregnancies put both mothers and children at risk.

"The public does not realize that twins are a health risk," said Professor Peter Braude, who chairs the expert group for the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority. "The need to tackle the problem is unequivocal. Neonatal units are stretched to the extent that you cannot always get your baby into one."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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