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Preterm births, multiples, and fertility treatment
Date:4/16/2014

, few are fully aware of the risks to mother and babies of twin pregnancies and births. But when patients are better informed, research shows that they are more likely to choose to transfer one embryo at a time.

The authors' first recommendation is to expand insurance coverage for IVF, while also restricting the number of embryos transferred during each cycle or imposing financial incentives for single embryo transfer. The article says that such policies, which have been adopted by Connecticut and a few countries, "have dramatically reduced the rates of multiple births after IVF while maintaining good life-birth rates."

Other recommendations are:

  • Fast tracking from COS to IVF. Insurance policies should reduce the number of COS cycles required before covering IVF.

  • Changing the definition of a "cycle" for IVF treatment. Currently, one IVF cycle is defined as either a cycle in which embryos are generated and transferred or the transfer of one or more previously frozen embryos. This means that a single embryo transfer (SET) followed by a transfer of a frozen embryo from the first cycle counts as two cycles, while a double embryo transfer (DET) counts as one cycle. Fertility clinics have an incentive to favor DET over SET because it makes their per-cycle pregnancy rate higher. Broadening the definition of a cycle to include two consecutive SETs would mean that two consecutive single embryo transfers would have the same "per cycle" pregnancy rate as one DET, but with almost no multiple births.

  • Improving communication about risks

  • Encouraging patients to opt for protocols less likely to lead to multiples

  • Investing in research to improve fertility treatments


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Contact: Susan Gilbert
gilberts@thehastingscenter.org
845-424-4040 x244
The Hastings Center
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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