UK fertility clinics have maintained their run of reporting none of the most serious types of adverse incidents for the second year running, a Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) report has shown.
Over 99 percent of the approximately 100,000 treatment and storage cycles carried out in 2022/23, occurred without incident the HFEA's State of the Fertility Sector Report 2022/23 showed. None of the 517 incidents reported were of the most serious type, known as grade A. The publication of this report confirmed that no grade A level incidents have been reported in UK clinics since 2020/21. The number of critical non-compliance incidents picked up by the HFEA, also dropped this year, from nine in 2021/22 to five in 2022/23.
The chief executive of the HFEA, Peter Thompson, said: 'Fertility treatment within UK licenced clinics has yet again proven to be safe. Patients can continue to be reassured that the risk of an incident in their care is very low, with more than 99 percent of treatment and storage cycles carried out without incident.'
The report outlines that this decrease in reported incidents is partially due to changes in how patient hospital admissions are reported by clinics and handled by the HFEA.
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, a potential side effect of taking fertility drugs to increase egg production, occurs when too many follicles are created at once which can cause fluid to leak into the abdominal cavity and can be life threatening. In 2022/23 the number of severe and critical incidents relating to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome occurred in less than 0.1 percent of cycles and remained consistent with 2021/22.
There were 107 clinics licensed with the HFEA to provide fertility treatment, with 62 percent of them privately owned, an increase from 2021/22. Of the approximately 60,000 patients who underwent treatment, storage, and donation cycles, there were complaints from less than 0.01 percent of patients, with 59 complaints received, a decrease from 2021/22.
The interim chief executive of Fertility Network UK, Dr Catherine Hill, said: 'We know that the results of today’s HFEA report… will be of huge reassurance to fertility patients across the country who deserve the highest level of safety and care when seeking treatment.'
By Paige Mumford, via Bio News - https://www.progress.org.uk/uk-fertility-sector-meets-standards-set-by-hfea/