Why and how should multiple pregnancies be prevented in assisted reproduction treatment programmes?

Gurgan T., Demirol A.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOMEDICINE ONLINE, vol.9, no.2, pp.237-244, 2004 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/s1472-6483(10)62136-0
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.237-244
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: No


Although most professional societies have issued guidelines to diminish the number of embryos to be transferred during assisted reproductive techniques, the incidence of multiple pregnancies remains unacceptably high. The burden of morbidity and mortality seems to increase substantially with each fetus in a multiple gestation. As a result, them has been growing debate on the need to prevent multiple pregnancies. The infertility specialists who can solve the infertility problem are usually shielded from the complications of multiple pregnancies. If they were involved in the delivery and, more particularly in the care of multiple pregnancies (both financially and socially), their attitude would probably change. IVF centres should gradually reduce the mean number of embryos per transfer in terms of the cost:benefit ratio. A further reduction to one single-embryo per transfer in good cases would be similarly acceptable. Laboratory expertise is of vital importance, especially in terms of embryo culture, embryo selection, and freezing and thawing techniques in embryo transfer programmes for reducing the number of transferred embryos.