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IVF technique enables pregnancy without multiple births, Stanford researchers find
Date:10/1/2007

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In recent years, many reproductive specialists - especially those in Europe - have embraced single embryo transfer as a way to prevent multiple gestations. And data now exist showing the procedure's effectiveness among women of younger reproductive age.

Scant data exist on single blastocyst transfer in women over 35, so Milki and his colleagues decided to review the outcomes of older patients who underwent the procedure at Stanford. Milki said the procedure had been offered to those women with good-quality embryos, and the patients who elected to have only one embryo transferred did so as a way to avoid twin pregnancy. He noted that half the patients already had one child and wanted just one more, while others hoped to avoid the health complications associated with carrying multiples.

After reviewing the data from 45 patients ranging in age from 35 to 43 (with a mean age of 37.3), Milki and his colleagues found that 28 patients (62.2 percent) conceived, and 23 (51.1 percent) had pregnancies that went beyond the first trimester. Milki called this an "excellent pregnancy rate" - especially considering that the national success rate of IVF procedures for women in this age group is around 25 percent. But he pointed out that the women in this study all had good-quality embryos and had a relatively good chance of becoming pregnant.

"This offers reassurance that a woman can still expect a good pregnancy rate without gambling with twins," said Milki. He added that the findings demonstrate a "clear role" for the procedure in older IVF patients, and he said Stanford's IVF program plans to continue offering the procedure as an option for patients.

Milki did caution that the findings are not applicable to every woman over the age of 35. For women with lower-quality embryos, transferring two or three embryos might be the better way to pursue a pregnancy.


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Contact: Michelle Brandt
mbrandt@stanford.edu
650-723-0272
Stanford University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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