Doctors say single-embryo implants safer
Europeans say multiple births are much riskier
By Katrina Woznicki
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(MedPage Today) -- Assisted reproduction, in least in Europe, may be moving closer to the era of one-at-a-time babies.
European doctors indicated in reports to the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology that implanting infertile women with multiple embryos is too likely to result in multiple births.
Doctors said a multiple birth -- even of twins -- is far more risky than a singleton birth.
The consensus: A single-embryo transfer may be better for both mother and baby.
Among the results of the studies:
The doctors in Europe, where assisted reproduction is usually covered by socialized medical systems, did not get into the issue of the price of a single assisted reproduction cycle, which is a major factor in the United States(often $10,000). Also, if a single embryo does not result in a pregnancy, the woman is that much older on the next try.
Genes and heredity
In other research, scientists reported a possible explanation for why some women over 45 are able to conceive easily. It's in their genes. A study of blood samples taken from eight such women found they had unique genetic profiles that appeared to reduce ovarian aging and extend fertility well into middle age.
Another research team found heredity might be to blame for polycystic ovarian syndrome, a common cause of infertility. A study of 414 daughters and their mothers found excess maternal weight and reduced fetal and placental growth during pregnancy may put the daughter at a greater risk for the metabolic disorder.
And finally, a team of scientists found another use for embryonic stem cells. They were able to grow a type of cell line called primordial germ cells from these immature stem cells, which could then be used to create sperm and eggs. These lab-grown sperm and eggs, they said, could help treat infertile couples.
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