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Octuplets Fiasco Could Have Been Prevented
Date:3/11/2009

SAN FRANCISCO, March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The recent delivery of octuplets in Los Angeles was a dramatic outcome of fertility therapy, but the drama should not obscure the risk of high-order multiple pregnancy. As we all know, high-order multiple pregnancy is not a desirable outcome, with risk for mother and babies. With good fertility care and good clinical judgment, such risks are mostly preventable.

Pacific Fertility Center has been taking steps to minimize the risk of multiple pregnancy for several years. Balancing high pregnancy rates with low pregnancy risk improves pregnancy outcomes; achieving that balance and reducing the risk of multiple pregnancy is our goal.

Some steps Pacific Fertility Center takes to reduce multiple pregnancy risk include:

High quality embryology. Utilizing advanced embryo culture techniques, the highest quality embryos can be selected for transfer. Special environmental conditions, advanced culture media, and delicate handling of gametes and embryos are required; these efforts result in better embryos, with higher implantation and pregnancy rates. Growing these embryos to day 5, the blastocyst stage, allows selection of the healthiest embryos for transfer, enabling excellent outcomes with the transfer of fewer embryos.

Vitrification for embryo cryopreservation. Vitrification, the new technology of embryo freezing, allows storage of advanced stage embryos for future use. Since good pregnancy rates are maintained with vitrified embryos, fewer embryos need to be transferred fresh, which results in a reduced risk of multiples.

Clinical guidelines to reduce the number of embryos transferred. Embryo implantation rates vary with a woman's age. A young woman on average has a high embryo implantation rate and an older woman a lower implantation rate. Factoring in age and clinical situation, the number of embryos transferr
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SOURCE Pacific Fertility Center
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