Adverse incidents in fertility treatment

Now available in the United Kingdom (though perhaps not in Australia as yet) is a report on adverse events in fertility clinics, published by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

The Telegraph newspaper reports that the publication discloses 1 adverse event for every 100 cycles of treatment. However serious adverse events were relatively infrequent. These are said to have included the use of incorrect sperm for fertilization and the contamination or loss of donated material.

The report is available online. The Authority website comments:

The report, whose three-year reporting period shows trends over the medium term, reveals that over 1600 [2] incidents were reported over this time frame, with the majority [3] classed as less serious ‘grade C’ incidents. There were 714 grade B, and only three grade A incidents.


This means that on average 500-600 reported incidents per year are reported out of more than 60,000 cycles of IVF treatment. A breakdown of figures for total incidents reported in each of the last three years shows that the rate remains steady [4]. 


HFEA Chair Sally Cheshire cited the very low number of grade A incidents as evidence of a well-developed and professional ART sector.


“We are committed to ensuring that clinics provide the safest and highest quality service to their patients. These results show that, in the main, clinics are doing a good job of minimising the number of serious errors, and this should be welcomed. In my experience clinic staff are highly professional and they hold the patient’s welfare in the highest regard. 

One Reply to “Adverse incidents in fertility treatment”

Comments are closed.