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In Vitro Fertilization Education May Lower Twin Rates

Mandatory single embryo transfer policy maintains pregnancy rates, reduces twinning

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Infertile couples who are educated about the risks of multiple pregnancies are less likely to desire such pregnancies resulting from in vitro fertilization. Also, a mandatory single embryo transfer policy at fertility clinics can maintain pregnancy rates while dramatically reducing the rate of twinning, according to the results of a study published in the August issue of Fertility and Sterility.

Bradley J. Van Voorhis, M.D., of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City, and colleagues studied 110 infertile couples who completed an educational study and studied outcomes in 693 embryo transfers at their fertility clinic.

The researchers found that a significant proportion of the 110 couples preferred a lower gestational number after completing the educational study. Before and after instituting a mandatory single embryo transfer policy, the investigators observed no significant overall differences in ongoing pregnancy rates with blastocyst transfer (63 percent versus 58 percent), but also observed significant decreases in the mean, program-wide number of embryos transferred (2.1 versus 1.9) and multiple-gestation rates (35 percent versus 19 percent).

"In vitro fertilization practices must acknowledge that their outcomes significantly influence the health and economic strength of the community," the authors write. "For that reason, a single healthy baby must be their treatment goal."

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