Single IVF Babies May Be Healthiest
Single Babies Born From Infertility Treatments as Healthy as Those Conceived the Old-Fashioned Way
WebMD News Archive
U.S. Patients Older
Women in Europe undergoing assisted reproduction are more likely to be
considered good candidates for single transfer than those in the U.S., says
American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Executive Director Robert
That's because assisted reproduction is routinely paid for by government
health plans in Europe, whereas infertile American couples usually end up
paying for infertility treatments out of pocket. As a result, women in the U.S.
tend to be older and thus have a harder time getting pregnant.
Rebar spoke to WebMD Tuesday from the European meeting.
"The average age of a woman undergoing IVF in Europe is 32, while the
average age in the U.S. is 37," Rebar says. "That is a significant
difference. While the goal is certainly single-embryo transfer, only a small
minority of patients in the U.S. would qualify for it."
Last fall, the ASRM, in conjunction with the Society for Assisted
Reproduction Technology, issued new guidelines on embryo transfers. The groups
now call for no more than two embryos to be transferred in women under the age
of 35 who have a reasonably good chance of having a successful pregnancy.
And it calls on doctors to consider transferring a single embryo in patients
with the highest likelihood of pregnancy. That means those undergoing their
first cycle of assisted reproduction who have more than one good-quality embryo
suitable for freezing.
Though it is too soon to know for sure if infertility clinics have changed
their practices as a result of the new guidelines, Rebar says he believes they
have. He says it is impossible to say how many American women seeking treatment
for infertility are good candidates for single embryo transfer.