The impact of cross-border reproductive care or ‘fertility tourism’ on NHS maternity services


A McKelvey, Fetal Medicine Unit, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Wing, University College Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, 235 Euston Road, London NW1 2BU, UK. Email


High order multiple pregnancies have substantial morbidity and mortality. Fertility treatment is commonly responsible for their conception and is available globally with variable regulation. We investigated cross-border fertility treatment in these pregnancies in a UK fetal medicine unit, recording mode of conception, country of fertility treatment, reason for non-UK treatment and fetal reduction. Over an 11-year period, 109 women had a high order multiple pregnancy. Ninety-four women (86%) conceived with fertility treatment of whom 24 (26%) had this performed overseas. Cross-border fertility treatment poses an increasing challenge to obstetricians. National data on its occurrence is urgently needed.