Women’s welfare during IVF treatment is extremely important. The regulatory framework established by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 means that IVF can be provided only by clinics licensed by the UK regulator, which must ensure that all IVF services are safe and of high quality.
This year we celebrate 40 years of IVF, and more than a quarter of a million children have been successfully conceived in the UK. However, a staggering 3% to 8% of women undergoing IVF suffer from moderate to severe occurrences of the completely avoidable ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, with a shocking three deaths every 100,000 cycles. Does the Minister agree that the outdated Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act should be amended to make essential provision for the welfare of women?
The hon. Lady is absolutely right to talk about this. IVF has made a massive difference to families up and down this country. I know that she has worked long and hard on this particular issue, for which I thank her. Health professionals always have a duty to act in the best interests of the patients whom they care for, and fertility treatment is no exception. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is leading work to better understand OHSS, and it will be supporting clinics to ensure that care is of the highest standard.