Dr. Diane De Neubourg, from the Centre for Reproductive Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium, told the conference that babies born after (SET) are as healthy as singleton babies born after a spontaneous conception. She said that these findings, from the first well-documented follow- up of SET outcomes, further underlined the principle that SET was good clinical practice in IVF and ICSI.
Dr. De Neubourg and her team began by studying the outcomes of all SET pregnancies originating from IVF and ICSI at the Centre for Reproductive Medicine. In addition to analysing existing data, they sent questionnaires to all patients after birth or termination with questions about the pregnancy, delivery, and outcome of the children. These data were compared with data on spontaneously conceived singleton children from the Flemish register of perinatal epidemiology, which collects information from all Flemish obstetric units.
During the period, the overall percentage of SET as opposed to multiple embryo transfers was 33.2% The percentage of SET increased from 12.4% in 1998 to 53.8% in 2003, and the proportion of singleton pregnancies from IVF/ICSI from 66% in 1998 to 87% in 2003.
"We analysed the outcomes of the 251 SET pregnancies and births and found very little difference between the SET babies and those conceived naturally", said Dr. De Neubourg. "Birth weight was very similar, and so was gestational age. Stillbirth was also the same in both groups. The only significant difference we found was that SET pregnancies reported more hypertension (7.6% as opposed to 4.6).
"We began this study because we wanted to investigate whether babies born afte
Contact: Mary Rice
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology