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Single Embryo OK for Older Women

<P>Embryo Quality Key to IVF Success</P>

It's Different in the U.S. continued...

Adamson points out that roughly five times as many women in Finland have IVF as in America.

"It is easy to see that if five times as many women are doing this, many of them have less severe infertility," Adamson says. "They have not failed other therapies like many women in the U.S."

He adds that the women in the study were highly selected, with only 27% considered to be good candidates for single embryo transfer. Almost three-quarters of the women in the study were not considered good candidates because the embryos available for transfer were of poorer quality.

Adamson says it is clear that there are still too many multiple births occurring with assisted reproduction in the United States, but he says progress has been made.

The transfer of three and even more embryos was common just a few years ago, but it is rare today unless the embryos are of very poor quality. As a result assisted reproduction-related triplet births were reduced by half between the late 1990s and 2003.

Reproductive endocrinologists in the U.S. are increasingly recommending single embryo transfer to their patients with good-quality embryos, Adamson says. But more often than not, patients reject the idea because they are more concerned about IVF failure than having twins.

"Multiple births are an important problem, but we must not forget that the purpose of assisted reproduction is to get a baby," Adamson says. "The only way to ensure no multiples is to have no live births at all."


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