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New Study Proves Multiple Births From IVF Can Be Avoided

Recent Research by Shady Grove Fertility Center Proves that elective Single Embryo Transfer is Effective in Reducing Multiple Births.

ROCKVILLE, Md., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As fertility experts across the nation bemoan the health risk and expense of multiple births such as the octuplets born last Monday in Southern California, researchers at Shady Grove Fertility Center point to their recently published study proving that a fertility treatment that avoids multiples is equally effective and preferred by patients when cost is not a factor.


The published study, "Elective single embryo transfer: A 6-year progressive implementation of 784 single blastocyst transfers and the influence of payment method on patient choice," which is available on Fertility and Sterility's website, proved that elective Single Embryo Transfer (eSET) for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) can almost eliminate triplet pregnancies and also significantly reduce twin pregnancies without compromising pregnancy rates. It also showed that patients prefer to transfer one embryo when freed from financial pressures to transfer multiple embryos, which can occur when patients have limited or no insurance to pay for treatment. More embryos transferred theoretically improve success rates, but also increase the chance for multiples.

"The long-term costs of health care for multiples -- such as the octuplets born last Monday in Southern California -- far exceed the expense of single-embryo transfer in vitro fertilization (IVF)," said Robert J. Stillman, M.D., Shady Grove Fertility Center's medical director and the study's principal author. "If insurance coverage of fertility treatments were more widespread, more comprehensive, and less restrictive, everyone would win: Patients more likely would choose less risky fertility treatments, insurance companies could avoid outlaying cash for extensive hospital care many multiples require, and society as a whole wouldn't end up footing the bill."

Dr. Stillman adds that many patients who undergo IVF at Shady Grove Fertility Center and who are good candidates for eSET request that only a single embryo be transferred back to the their uterus. "If you can transfer one single embryo, without compromising pregnancy rates, then you can even minimize the risk of a twin pregnancy."

Today, Shady Grove Fertility has one of the lowest triplet pregnancy rates in the nation, having reduced them from 7% in 2001 to 1.5% in 2007. The Center also significantly reduced its twin pregnancies by 7% in the same time period.

To interview Shady Grove Fertility Center's Dr. Stillman or patient who has chosen eSET to help avoid a multiples pregnancy, please call Cynthia Powell, 202-306-6313,

About Shady Grove Fertility CenterShady Grove Fertility Center is a progressive, private fertility center, and America's largest progressive, performing more than 4,000 in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles annually, including 400 egg donation cycles and an equal number of ovulation induction and intrauterine insemination cycles annually in 2008. Twenty-one reproductive endocrinologists plus Ph.D. scientists, and geneticists as well as 350 specialized staff care for patients in 11 full-service offices throughout the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore areas. Shady Grove Fertility offers a comprehensive range of fertility treatment options including IVF, donor egg and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and integrative holistic care, as well as resources to address all patients' needs--medical, emotional, and financial. Shady Grove Fertility conducts clinical research in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health and is part of their subspecialty training Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology. Since Shady Grove's inception in 1992, more than 15,000 IVF babies have born. Shady Grove Fertility physicians have been featured as experts for comment on media outlets such as NBC's The Today Show, The New York Times, NPR's Diane Rehm Show (WAMU-FM 88.5, Washington, DC), and Parent Magazine. Washingtonian magazine listed Shady Grove among the area's Best Places to Work in 2007. For more information, visit

SOURCE Shady Grove Fertility Centers
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