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Success, Safety Up for ART With Elective Single Embryo Transfer

Risks are much higher in multifetal gestations, but are also seen for singletons achieved with ART

human sperm and egg

TUESDAY, Aug. 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- An updated Committee Opinion urges providers of assisted reproductive technology (ART) to do everything possible to reduce the likelihood of a multifetal pregnancy. The report is published in the September issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Researchers from the Committee on Obstetric Practice and the Committee on Genetics updated recommendations relating to perinatal risks associated with ART.

The authors note that the use of ART has increased worldwide recently. Although the perinatal risks associated with ART are much higher in multifetal gestations, singletons achieved with ART and ovulation induction may also be at higher risk. Health care providers should complete a thorough medical examination and should counsel women about treatment-associated risks before initiating ART or ovulation-induction processes. They should address maternal health problems or inherited conditions. Appropriate counseling should be provided to couples at risk for passing genetic conditions to their offspring, including those due to infertility-associated conditions. The option of multifetal reduction should be discussed when a higher-order multifetal pregnancy is encountered; in the case of continuing such a pregnancy, ongoing obstetric care should be with an obstetrician-gynecologist or other obstetric care provider and at a facility capable of managing anticipated risks.

"Pursuing ART is a deeply personal and significant decision for patients. It is our responsibility as providers to ensure patients and their partners are properly informed throughout the process," Joseph Wax, M.D., of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said in a statement.

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