December 6, 2013

Lowering the Twin Rate in IVF

Many suffering infertility when faced with the prospect of IVF desire twins in an attempt to expeditiously complete their family. Unfortunately, twin pregnancies do not always come out healthy as there are both adverse maternal consequences such as pregnancy induced hypertension and diabetes, and other even more serious problems predominantly preterm labor and delivery resulting in a much higher incidence of morbidity and mortality for the babies. Only 3% of babies born without fertility assistance are twins and 12% of these are preterm deliveries. In contrast 46% of IVF babies are multiples, mostly twins and 37% of these are born premature. The majority of women under age 35 should have an elective single embryo transfer (eSET) and no more than two embryos should be transferred in anyone age 40 or under. Better ways to screen embryos are being developed and tested which should make eSET the standard of care for all. Lowering the twin rate in IVF is the result.

The Fertility Centers of New England advocates eSET and does this by growing all embryos to Day 5 after fertilization in a low oxygen environment which enables the most viable embryo to be selected for transfer. Culturing embryos to Day 5 also allows for embryo biopsy to be performed so that possible chromosome abnormalities can be discovered. Following biopsy the embryo is frozen (vitrified) so that a subsequent frozen embryo transfer (FET) can be performed of a single chromosomally normal embryo. Chromosome testing and freezing embryos for a subsequent FET adds $5,000 to the $6800 IVF Assist cost which is still considerably lower than the $19,000 National average cost for the same service. The Fertility Centers of New England is proud to offer this service and believes that it not only offers the best chance for a healthy baby but also saves money in the long run since fewer IVF cycles are needed and lower multiple rates with lower associated health care costs are attained.

The Fertility Centers of New England has 9 convenient locations including its newest downtown Boston Fertility Center at 575 Boylston Street. For those patients from out of our region the Fertility Centers of New England offers free phone consultations and a concierge service. When you are ready to begin, we are here and ready to help guide you on your journey to having a safe and healthy pregnancy.

 

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Joseph A. Hill, III, M.D.

Joseph A. Hill, III, M.D. Board-Certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility