Clinical counselling influences patient preference regarding the number of embryos to be transferred
Multiple pregnancy increases the risk of complications both during pregnancy and delivery. For this reason, and for some years now, many countries have tended to limit the number of embryos transferred in IVF/ICSI cycles in accordance with the recommendations of scientific societies.
While there has been less discussion on the subject in the context of oocyte donation programmes, it is an important decision, since most patients are older, which multiplies the risks. For this reason, the donation team of the Reproductive Medicine Service at Dexeus Women's Health carried out a study to determine the extent to which informing oocyte recipients of the differences in their chance of achieving a pregnancy (success rate) and the risks associated with transferring two or three embryos influences their decision.
To this end, the results of a survey of 38 patients were analysed both before and after the women were given this information by the donation team. The questionnaire assessed the influence of a number of factors on their preference for one or the other option, such as the partner's opinion, maternal age and a prior history of treatment with assisted reproductive technology (ART).
Findings revealed that after receiving the information, many of the patients who were initially in favour of the transfer of two or more embryos (over 50% of respondents) changed their mind in favour of the transfer of a single embryo: 47.4% of the total population opted for this option after counselling, compared to the initial 28.9%. The basic reason behind the switch was the patients' awareness of the maternal risks associated with a multiple pregnancy.
Single or double embryo transfer? Decision-making process in patients participating in an oocyte donation program
Roca M1, Clua E1, Rodríguez I1, Tresánchez M1, Martínez F1, Boada M1, Barri P.N1, Veiga A1
1 Service de médecine de la reproduction, hôpital universitaire Dexeus, Barcelone, Espagne
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