One-embryo limit would save money, lives: study

If women undergoing fertility treatment were limited to one embryo transfer at a time, lives and money would be saved due to fewer complications from multiple births, Canadian doctors said Thursday.

"Across Canada, there would be as many as 840 fewer babies admitted to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit), 40 deaths avoided, 46 fewer brain injuries, and 42,400 fewer days of NICU hospitalization," said Keith Barrington, lead author of the study in the US Journal of Pediatrics.

Each day a baby spends in the NICU costs about $1,000, meaning some $42.4 million could be saved per year by restricting embryo transfers, according to the data compiled by doctors at the University of Montreal.

Women and couples who are having trouble getting pregnant often opt for in vitro fertilization (IVF), which involves combining the egg and sperm outside the womb and then implanting the fertilized embryo in the woman's uterus.

Patients may opt for multiple embryo transfers in the hopes it will increase their chances of getting pregnant, and to cut back on the number of times the costly procedure - usually between $10,000 and $15,000 - is performed.

But Montreal researchers decided to examine records from the Royal Victoria Hospital in Quebec and see what the impact of IVF had been on creating twins, triplets and other multiples.

Last year, Quebec established a new policy that the government of the francophone province would pay for three cycles of IVF for people seeking it, but set a mandate of one embryo transfer at a time.

The Montreal doctors' study predates that policy, looking back at records from 2005 to 2007.

During that period, 17 percent of babies sent to the NICU - a total of 82 infants - were from multiple births resulting from fertility treatment. Seventy-five were from specifically IVF transfer of multiple embryos.

"Among these 75 babies, there were six deaths, five babies who developed a brain bleed, and four babies who developed a potentially blinding eye condition," said Barrington, a doctor at the University of Montreal.

If the rest of Canada were to follow the same one-embryo policy as Quebec, multiple birth rates and their complications could be drastically cut, the study argued, recommending that any regulation be accompanied by a policy of reimbursement for any additional costs to the parents-to-be.

"Since July 2010, all of the fertility centers in Quebec have adopted this approach, and preliminary results show that twin gestation rates have dropped from 30 percent to 3.8 percent," Barrington said.

Similar policy in the United States would result in even more benefits, because US doctors performed 20 times as many IVF procedures as in Canada in 2008, the study said.

One percent of births in the United States are a result of IVF, which results in 16 percent of twin births and 38 percent of triplets.

News
The author PD James, who died on 27 November 2014
people

Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94

Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
Life and Style
View of champagne glasses at a beach bar set up along the Croisette during the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes on May 17, 2013
food + drink(and for now, there's a clear winner)
Life and Style
tech

Sites using the popular Gigya comment platform were attacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
News
Irradiated turkey and freeze dried mash potato will be on the menu this thanksgiving
video
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

    £10000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion the Largest In...

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Car Sales Executive

    £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion the Largest Independent...

    Langley James : CRM Services Manager; West London up to £40k

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Langley James : CRM Services Manager; West London u...

    Langley James : IT Support; Residential Agency; Mayfair; up to £30k

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Langley James : IT Support; Residential Agency; May...

    Day In a Page

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
    There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

    In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

    The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

    It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
    The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

    Staying connected: The King's School

    The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
    Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

    Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

    Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

    The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
    Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

    When two worlds collide

    Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?