More than 30 years after the first successful in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine stated their opinion that “The goal of infertility treatment is for each patient to have one healthy child at a time.”1 Nevertheless, twin birth rates in the United States continue to rise.

Although the majority of twin births in the US are naturally conceived, the incidence of twins resulting from stimulated ovulation and assisted reproductive technologies (ART) is more than 20 times greater than that of naturally conceived twins.1

IVF touches many stakeholders – patients, their offspring, healthcare providers, insurance companies, as well as employers of patients undergoing the time-consuming and invasive treatments. Each of these groups may primarily focus only on its own immediate concerns and needs, not incorporating how each step and choice along the path are intricately tied to one another.

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On February 22, 2013, a multi-disciplinary panel of experts convened to review the implications and downstream impact of current standards of care in IVF; the avoidable burdens associated with IVF-related twin gestations and deliveries; the current status of single embryo transfer (SET) for IVF; and the benefits of new technologies and procedures helping to establish SET the standard of care going forward.

Published by Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey, the report from the meeting titled “Redefining Success in IVF: Reducing the Burden of Care” summarizes the data, discussion, and recommendations of the of the expert panel.

1. Multiple gestation associated with infertility therapy: an American Society for Reproductive Medicine Practice Committee opinion. Fertil Steril 2012;97(4):825-834.

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