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Fertility experts aim to reduce twin births

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Twin births could be on the decline, if things go the way health officials plan. According to an Associated Press report on Dec. 2, fertility experts are pushing for the rate of twin births to drop.

New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control show that multiple births as the result of in vitro fertilization have higher risks of health problems and prematurity. The CDC also reported that 46 percent of babies born with the help of IVF are multiples and 37 percent are prematurely born. Births that happen without IVFs are only 12 percent premature and only three percent are multiples.

Though some couples view twins as a two-for-one deal during IVF, especially if they can only afford one treatment, there are better ways to select the best embryo, rather than using multiple. Though screening embryos can add $4,000 to the already pricey IVF tag, it increases the odds of a birth while also decreasing the odds of a second IVF treatment.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine would like to make using one embryo the norm for women over 35, as it is in some European countries. The multiple embryo option would still be available to older women, who typically have a harder time conceiving, though she could have two implanted at most.

Ultimately, using single embryos can result in healthier babies as well as fewer tubal pregnancies, lower hospital bills and fewer miscarriages.



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