Fertility clinics in Britain are the least successful in Europe, reports a league table, to be published before this weekend. This raises serious concerns regarding the expense of the treatment and encourages childless women to take part in medical procedures, leading to severe financial and psychological trauma.
When compared to the success rates of fertility clinics in Belgium (40.5%) the clinics in Britain manage to attain a success rate of 28.6%. this is a very pathetic state as Britain was the first to produce test tube babies 128 years ago. According to the submitted data for the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) table Britain takes the 17th position among 23 countries.
The data shows that British clinics have the highest rate of complications caused by specialized drugs used for in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and the highest rate of abortion of healthy IVF babies with a technique called foetal reduction. In this procedure when two embryos are implanted in the woman's womb in the hope that at least one of them will implant then if both develop, one of the twins is destroyed in order to increase the growth potential of the other.
This procedure is considered as unethical by many doctors. Karl Nygren, a professor of gynaecology in Stockholm, who compiled the ESHRE statistics, said that is a sad day for the mother as it is the birthday of one child and the death day of the other. The low rate is mainly due to the fact that British clinics are costly and works about £10,000 for one cycle of treatment.
In Iceland, one of the most effective countries for IVF, it costs a couple £7,000 on average to achieve a successful pregnancy. Gedis Grudzinskas, director of the Bridge Fertility Centre in London, said that some of the couples have invested about £100,000 without success. He blamed the overall performance of British centres on poor training for scientists.
Bill Ledger, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Sheffield University, who also runs an NHS IVF clinic said that the European clinics do better because they posses state-of-the-art equipment funded by governments. According to the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) they will discuss about this matter at the HFEA annual conference on Tuesday by Debra Spar, a Harvard business school economist, who has published an analysis of the fertility business. They plan to regulate this before it goes out of control.