Staggering discarded embryo figures released in UK

Xavier Symons
November 26, 2016
Reproduced with Permission

New official figures indicate that close to 2.5 million embryos have been discarded in the UK since IVF was brought under a comprehensive regulatory framework in 1991.

The figures were released by Lord Prior of Brampton, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, in response to a written question from Lord Alton of Liverpool.

The records of the UK's fertility watchdog, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. show that 1,687,260 embryos have been transferred to uteri since 1991, and 2,315,262 destroyed.

In the period from 1 July 2014 - 30 June 2015, 84,044 were transferred, and 172,184 destroyed. The figures come as UK fertility clinics celebrate 250,000 babies born by IVF in the country.

With an increase in IVF success rates, fertility specialists say that more women in the UK are using assisted reproductive technology. In 1991, 6,146 women received 6,609 IVF treatments, resulting in 1,226 live births. By 2013 this had risen to 52,288 women receiving 67,708 cycles of IVF, from which 15,283 babies were born.