Avoiding multiple pregnancies in assisted reproductive technologies: transferring one embryo at a time should be the norm

Transferring one embryo at a time should become the norm with assisted reproductive technologies. Framing twins as a fortuitous event needs to stop. Discussion of the risks of the multiple pregnancy and financially favoring single embryo transfers may be part of the solution.
Avoiding multiple pregnancies in assisted reproductive technologies: transferring one embryo at a time should be the norm

VOLUME 114, ISSUE 4, P671-672

Author:

Cynthia Farquhar, M.B.Ch.B., M.D., M.P.H. 

Abstract:

Multiple pregnancies following fertility treatments typically occur in 30% of women in whom more than one embryo is transferred. Worldwide, fewer than 20 countries have fully funded public fertility treatments, and many women utilizing assisted reproduction technologies are transferring more than one embryo for financial reasons because they consider it will be cheaper to have two embryos transferred in the one procedure. Yet, there is a large body of evidence for the poorer health, economic, and social outcomes for mother and baby from multiple pregnancies. Some countries have reduced the multiple pregnancy rate to less than 5% by linking the funding of ART to policies where the large majority of transfers are single embryos.

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