"Along with many infertility specialists, we have been alarmed by the large numbers of twin pregnancies resulting from infertility treatment, and especially IVF", she said. "But we also noted that patients seemed much less concerned by twin pregnancies than we are and, indeed, many desire this outcome."
Dr. Ryan and her team had previously researched infertility patients' wishes for the outcome of pregnancies, and found that desire for multiple births was associated with having no previous children, lower family income, younger patient age, longer duration of fertility and lack of knowledge regarding the risk of having twins. The team decided to evaluate whether improving education on these risks could improve understanding and have an effect on IVF patients' desire for multiple pregnancies.
110 couples took part and completed 2 questionnaires; after the first, which asked, among other things, how many children were desired from a pregnancy, a one page description of the risks of twins to the children and the mother was distributed and discussed. Afterwards, the questionnaire was completed again.
Following discussion of twin risks, significantly more patients ranked singletons as their most desired treatment outcome (86% as opposed to 69% first time round); and significantly fewer chose twins (14%, versus 29% first time round). "On both pre and post-education questionnaires, the most common reason for preferring twins was 'I want
Contact: Mary Rice
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology