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Source: United Kingdom – Executive Government & Departments

Research presented in an abstract at the 35th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) shows that intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) offers no benefit over conventional in vitro fertilisation in fertility treatments without a male factor indication.

Sarah Norcross, Director of fertility charity Progress Educational Trust, said:

“The latest annual data presented by Dr Christian de Geyter at ESHRE on assisted reproduction across Europe reveals some worrying trends in fertility treatment. Yes, it is heartening that 165,000 babies were born in 2016 (excluding data from the UK), however, it is concerning that around half of all treatment cycles are now with frozen embryos, and ICSI is used nearly three times as much as IVF (359,858 ICSI, 128,626 IVF cycles). To date, there is no definite data to support the use of frozen embryo transfer instead of fresh embryo transfer in all fertility patients, and neither is there any robust evidence supporting the use of ICSI, rather than IVF, when patients do not present with male factor fertility problems. Given this, is it a responsible use of science for ‘freeze all’ strategies and ICSI, both of which are more expensive procedures, to be increasingly offered to the majority of Europe’s fertility patients? Fertility clinics have a duty of care to patients and that means offering each patient a treatment package tailored to their particular fertility needs.”


Prof Ying Cheong, Professor of Reproductive Medicine and Honorary Consultant in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery, University of Southampton, said:

“It is disappointing that the pregnancy rates for IVF/ICSI has stagnated, and the field is waiting for ground breaking innovations for a paradigm shift in diagnostics. Clinicians however, must refrain from administering non evidence based treatment to ‘improve’ outcomes.”


European IVF monitoring of ART’  by Christian de Geyter et al. was presented at the 35th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) on Tuesday 25 June. 


Declared interests

Sarah Norcross: No conflicts of interest

None others received.

MIL OSI United Kingdom