Wednesday, September 28, 2011

IVF and multiples: the lifetime effects of "vanishing twins"

An Australian radio programme, broadcast in August but which I found today, includes a study of hundreds of thousands of pregnant women, tracing the events in pregnancy as related to health risks later.
The issues covered in this programme include obesity and how that is related to your mother's pregnancy, particularly in the early months.

Most importantly, the risk of birth defects in a single baby from an IVF cycle was found to be higher.  Womb twin survivors are three times more likely to have birth defects than babies who never had a twin. It is interesting that this is the last thing that advocates of multi-fetal pregnancy will mention, of course, let alone the psychological effects on the sole survivor, which we know so well......

Listen now

We need some joined-up thinking here.

Parents should be well informed of ALL effects on any baby they manage to have, before they go in for IVF where more than one embryo is transferred.

Experts say that single embryo transfer ( SET) is the answer to all this, but there is still an increase in monozygotic (identical) twinning, even from one embryo, especially when transferred at the blastocyst stage:

Meanwhile, millions of unwanted babies are aborted every year  and thousands of unwanted children languish  for years in orphanages. Then desperate couples spend tens of thousands of pounds on getting a baby by IVF, surrogate parenting etc.


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