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Trends in the incidence of births and multiple births and the factors that determine the probability of multiple birth after IVF treatment

Trends in the incidence of births and multiple births and the factors that determine the probability of multiple birth after IVF treatment

Human Reproduction 16(12): 2598-2605

BACKGROUND: We aimed to review trends in the probability of birth and multiple birth before and after the legal restriction limiting the maximum allowable number of embryos transferred, and to examine factors that determine the probability of multiple birth following IVF treatment. METHODS: We analysed data relating to 7170 IVF and 530 intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles reaching embryo transfer undertaken by 4417 women at a single tertiary referral assisted conception centre in the UK between 1984 and 1997. Probability of birth, and of proportion of multiple births among those who gave birth, was explored using logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: Between 1984 and 1997 there was a significant increase in probability of birth but no change in the probability of multiple birth. The trend in probability of birth was almost wholly explained by the significant increase in number of embryos created per cycle. Pooling all the data, risk factors for increased chance of birth and multiple birth were: younger age (<35 years), diagnoses other than tubal infertility, fewer than three previous unsuccessful cycles, previous IVF live birth and a large number of embryos created. Given these factors, increasing the number of embryos transferred did not increase the chance of a birth, but did increase the chance of a multiple birth. CONCLUSIONS: The probability of birth has increased and the probability of multiple birth has remained unchanged, despite legislation limiting the number of embryos transferred in the UK. Efforts should be made to reduce the incidence of multiple births by transferring fewer embryos, especially in the presence of good prognostic factors for birth.

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Accession: 011594754

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PMID: 11726581

DOI: 10.1093/humrep/16.12.2598

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