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One Embryo Works As Well As Two for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

Finnish Study Finds IVF Increases the Risk of Deformity…

ONE EMBRYO WORKS AS WELL AS TWO FOR IVF: STUDIES. Using a single embryo for in-vitro fertilization is just as likely to result in a successful pregnancy as transferring two embryos, while reducing the chance of a higher-risk twin conception, according to research released on Friday.

Women pregnant with twins, triplets or quadruplets are at greater risk of serious health complications than are women carrying just one fetus. In addition, delivering multiple babies carries a higher risk of premature labor and low birth weight, both of which can be fatal to infants.

If they survive, premature babies are more likely to suffer from neurological conditions like cerebral palsy.

With IVF, also known as test-tube baby technology, a women’s egg and her partner’s sperm are combined in a lab dish. Resulting embryos are implanted in the woman’s uterus or sometimes frozen for later use.

To increase the chance of success, fertility clinics often implant several embryos at the same time.

But two studies, published in the December issue of Fertility and Sterility, found that implanting one embryo worked as well as two for achieving a successful pregnancy. Researchers in Seattle examined the results of more than 200 IVF cycles where the patients had either one or two embryos transferred. The patient and cycle characteristics were similar for the two groups.

The study revealed that while implantation and live birth rates were virtually the same for the two groups, there was a significant difference in the number of twins. Similar results were published from an Australian study. There, patients who had a single embryo transfer had nearly as high a pregnancy rate, but a much lower incidence of twins than patients who transferred two embryos.

“This research shows the continued progress we are making in addressing the problem of multiple births. These studies will help us move to the goal of singleton pregnancies for all our patients” Dr. William Gibbons, president of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, said in a statement. [16Dec05 Reuters;]


FINNISH STUDY FINDS IVF INCREASES RISK OF DEFORMITY.       43 babies of every one thousand conceived using in vitro fertilization techniques are born with a serious deformity, according to another study indicating the dangers of IVF.

A report by Stakes, Finland’s National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health, found a significant increase in the rate of birth deformity among IVF infants. Normal rates would be 29 per thousand. In particular, the study found a higher rate of genital malformation among IVF boy babies.

There have been increasing numbers of studies linking infant health problems with IVF techniques over the past few years. Studies from a variety of sources have indicated significantly higher rates of birth defects, including genetic abnormalities, brain disorders, and developmental delays.

There is no conclusive research yet as to why the two are linked.
In vitro fertilization techniques cause the death of hundreds of thousands of babies in the earliest stages of development, discarded as “unsuitable” for a variety of reasons during the embryo selection process.

Related coverage:
IVF Babies up to 40% More Likely to Suffer Severe Birth Defects
Researchers Admit IVF Carries Higher Birth Defect Risk
Study Finds Brain Problems in IVF Children
IVF Babies at Greater Risk for Genetic Disorder 
[Gudrun Schultz FINLAND, 23Dec05,]