Health economic aspects of ART are becoming increasingly important, said Dr. De Neubourg. "It is clear that more singletons who are healthy will cost less to society. In Belgium this understanding has resulted in laboratory costs for IVF and ICSI being reimbursed under a strict embryo transfer policy to secure the prevention of multiple pregnancies."
In another presentation, Dr. Anja Pinborg, from the Fertility Clinic at the Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, told the conference that the major health risks for IVF singleton babies came from their being the surviving twin from a dual embryo transfer. She and her team studied data collected between 1995 and 2001 from 11 Danish fertility clinics to assess the number of born IVF singletons in which a spontaneous reduction ('vanishing twin') occurred during pregnancy.
The team looked at the obstetric and long term outcomes of these singletons, and examined whether a poorer outcome for the babies was linked to the gestational age at the time of the spontaneous reduction. "Of all the IVF singletons born", said Dr.Pinborg, "10.4% originated from a twin gestation in early pregnancy. We found a clear correlation between the incidence of neurological problems in these babies and the time of onset of spontaneous reduction the later in pregnancy the twin was lost the higher the risk of neurological problems in the survivor. Furthermore, the risk of child death within the period of follow-up was higher in the survivors of a vanishing twin than in t
Contact: Mary Rice
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology