In a new study commissioned by The March of Dimes Foundation, researchers from The Hastings Center and Yale Fertility recently explored the reasons why patients and doctors choose infertility treatments that too often result multiple births, and suggested ways infertility medicine could improve in this regard.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) and controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) are successful infertility treatments for many people every year. But these treatments often lead to multiple pregnancies, which can be considered successful to some, but in other cases lead to pre-term births. Furthermore, multiple pregnancies, like twins, aren’t always the best outcome for mother or her children.
Researchers point to a number of factors for the high numbers of multiple embryo transfers and the resulting multiple births. First, money may be a factor, as patients who have insurance for a procedure such as IVF may request multiple embryo transfer to increase their chances of getting pregnant. And those who must pay out-of-pocket often choose COS, which is more difficult to control.
While a doctor should respect his patient’s wishes, he still has a responsibility to provide the safest treatment. Pressure from patients, and also pressure to have a high success rate as a clinic often leads to multiple embryo transfers during a treatment.
The study identified, however, that the increased use of single embryo transfer (SET) was one effective way to reduce multiple births resulting from fertility treatment. The researchers suggested a number of changes that could be made to existing policy to make it a more attractive option for couples.
“Physicians agree that we need to reduce the numbers of multiple births resulting from assisted reproduction. This report clearly explains the way our current system steers patients to treatments that too often result in multiple pregnancy; and it suggests a number of ways to make needed changes,” remarked Charles Coddington, MD, President of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology.
Green Valley Fertility Partners are proud to be a leader in single embryo transfer for Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada. For more information about SET or IVF, contact us at Green Valley Fertility Partners today.