Elective Single Embryo Transfer Following In Vitro Fertilization could reduce the number of multiple births with a minimal reduction in the live birth rate

OTTAWA, April 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Many Canadian couples battling infertility turn to in vitro fertilization (IVF) to have a child. In Canada, IVF is not publicly funded, making the decision on the number of embryos to be transferred more complicated than in many European countries which link funding to elective single embryo transfer (eSET).

The joint clinical practice guideline, developed by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) and the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS), provides valuable insight to help guide that decision-making process.

The authors highlight the need for awareness and understanding of the various in vitro fertilization options available to Canadians, the burden of multiple birth pregnancies, the impact of a mother's age on the probability of success of IVF treatments, and the importance of public funding to reduce the main barrier to the adoption of elective single embryo transfer for both physicians and patients.

This guideline advances recommendations with a goal to reduce the incidence of multiple births in at-risk populations, while maintaining acceptable live birth rates. The conclusion: elective single embryo transfer for women under 35 with a good prognosis is the most efficacious and cost-effective option for Canadians.

Despite the lack of funding, it remains crucial to significantly reduce the number of IVF multiple pregnancies. In order to have the greatest impact in promoting the uptake of elective single embryo transfer, public funding of IVF must be provided.

About the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC)

The SOGC is one of Canada's oldest national specialty organizations. Established in 1944, the Society's mission is to promote excellence in the practice of obstetrics and gynaecology and to advance the health of women through leadership, advocacy, collaboration, outreach and education. The SOGC represents obstetricians/gynaecologists, family physicians, nurses, midwives and allied health professionals working in the field of sexual reproductive health. For more information, visit www.sogc.org.

About the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS)

In 1954 the Society was founded under the name of The Canadian Society for the Study of Fertility. It was created by a small group of physicians whose primary practice and research centered on the problems of fertility in the human female and male. Its purpose was to promote study and research in the field of infertility. The name of the society was changed to The Canadian Fertility Society in April 1972. At that time, there was a great emphasis on fertility control and the first book published by the Canadian Fertility Society was A Practical Manual on Reproduction edited by Drs. Collins and Rioux. In 1983 the Society merged with The Canadian Andrology Society to become the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society. Currently the Society's membership has grown to include more than 400 obstetricians and gynaecologists, urologists, reproductive endocrinologists, research scientists, and other health care professionals from every province as well as members from other countries.

About the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada (JOGC)

The JOGC is Canada's peer-reviewed journal of obstetrics, gynaecology, and women's health. Each monthly issue contains original research articles, reviews, case reports, commentaries, and editorials on all aspects of reproductive health. JOGC is the original publication source of evidence-based clinical guidelines, committee opinions, and policy statements that derive from standing or ad hoc committees of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. JOGC is included in the National Library of Medicine's MEDLINE database, and abstracts from JOGC are accessible on PubMed.

For further information: Natalie Wright, SOGC Communications and Public Education, Tel: (800) 561-2416 or (613) 730-4192 ext. 366, Fax: (613) 730-4314, Email: nwright@sogc.com, Web: www.sogc.org; Dr. Roger Pierson, Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, Tel: (306) 966-4458, Fax: (306) 966-8796, Email: pierson@erato.usask.ca, Web: www.cfas.ca