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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 January, 2004, 15:17 GMT
'We're glad we had triplets after IVF'
Helen with babies Natasha, Charlotte and William
Helen had the triplets after her third IVF treatment
The UK's IVF watchdog is to introduce new guidelines aimed at cutting the number of twins and triplets born as a result of fertility treatment.

One woman who gave birth to triplets after IVF tells the BBC why she opposes the move.

Helen Charlton gave birth to triplets 22 months ago.

After two failed attempts at IVF, the pregnancy and births were a dream come true for her and her husband.

"We were ecstatic. So many people go through with IVF only to be disappointed.

"We were just very, very lucky."

Doctors implanted three embryos into Helen's womb on her third attempt to get pregnant.

We chose to have three embryos implanted
"After two failed attempts, on the third attempt we chose to have three embryos implanted," she says.

Under the new rules, Helen would only have been allowed to have two embryos implanted. She is against the change.

"If that choice had been taken away from me, we would have been very upset knowing that our chances of having a baby would have been reduced.

"I would have done anything to have a baby," she says.

"Some people wait years to have a baby. Some go through many cycles of IVF.

"To cut the chances of having a baby by a third really is quite devastating."

Helen and her husband were naturally quite shocked when doctors told them that not only was their third attempt at IVF a success but that they were on course to have triplets.

"We were told I had three babies growing inside my tummy.

"I wasn't unhappy. I was shocked. It took a couple of days just to sink in and then we just looked forward to it."

Upside down

The arrival of babies Natasha, Charlotte and William has turned Helen's life upside down.

"Very early on, it's very tough. You have three babies wanting to be fed every four hours.

"They don't have the patience or the understanding that they may have to wait a few minutes because the other one hasn't finished.

"It is tough but you get through because you've waited all this time for these little babies and they're yours, they're beautiful and you just cope.

Helen is adamant that the sleepless nights and triple demands on her time are well worth it.

"It's great. We wanted the children and we are very happy."

The BBC's Denise Mahoney
"At least one fertility clinic says it's considering defying the new rules"

Moves to cut multiple IVF births
06 Jan 04  |  Health

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