Author(s): WlnerHanssen P, Rydhstroem H
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Standard protocols for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) include transfer of two or three embryos. Not surprisingly, the rate of twin pregnancy after IVF is high (about 24\% of all pregnancies). Routine transfer of one, rather than two, embryos would be expected to result in a much lower rate of twin pregnancies at the cost of a lower take-home baby rate. The aim of this study was to compare hypothetical costs to society incurred by pregnancies achieved with IVF protocols based on the transfer of one or two embryos. We compared actual (for two-embryo transfers) and hypothetical (for one-embryo transfers) take-home baby rates; risks of twin pregnancies; and costs of sick leave and hospitalization during pregnancy, deliveries, neonatal intensive care, and handicap care after transfer of one or two embryos. The study showed that even when more treatments might be needed to achieve similar baby take-home rates after transfer of one compared with two embryos, the lower twin pregnancy rate of the former approach caused it to be more cost-efficient than the latter. In conclusion, IVF costs are the sum of fertilization treatment costs and the costs for health care of the pregnant women and their offspring. Considering the association of the latter costs with numbers of embryos transferred, studies of one-embryo transfer protocols are urgently needed.
This article was published in Hum Reprod
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics