The number of women in a same-sex relationship using IVF in the UK has increased eight-fold, according to new figures.
The official statistics from the UK fertility watchdog show a record number of gay and bisexual women are using IVF. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority say the number has increased by 12%.
Meanwhile, the number of single women and those using surrogates has increased by 4% and 22% respectively.
Chairperson, Sally Chershire CBE, says about the increase in treatments: ‘While the increases in same-sex couples, single women and surrogates having fertility treatment are small, this reflects society’s changing attitudes towards family creation, lifestyles and relationships and highlights the need for the sector to continue to evolve and adapt.’
The statistics also indicate the process is becoming safer. Less people are having twins, which is the biggest risk involved. It’s declined to an all-time low of 10%.
Only 33% of the treatments in England and Wales are available on the National Health Service (NHS), compared to 62% in Scotland. Earlier this year, the NHS offered IVF treatment to a gay couple in Scotland for the first time.
This is because of an earlier ban on the NHS using surrogate mothers. The Scottish government changed the law two years ago.
The NHS, however, will not be finding them a surrogate.