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[Fate of supernumerary embryos and risk of multiple pregnancy in in-vitro fertilization: attitude of involved couples].

  • Laruelle, C
  • Englert, Y
Published Article
Revue médicale de Bruxelles
Publication Date
Jun 01, 1996
PMID: 8766581


To determine the fate of their possible additional embryos and to face the multiple pregnancy risk are problems each couple undergoing in vitro fertilization is confronted. The supernumerary embryos can be frozen but the couple have to decide before the treatment the fate of the possible embryos that would not be transferred at the end of the storage period. The opinion of 236 couples concerning these questions were evaluated through a questionnaire and an interview. Ninety-eight percent chose for their embryos to be frozen. Despite the fact that they frequently designed donation as the ideal choice only half of them chose that issue. To give priority to educational aspects in parental bonding led them to accept for their embryos to become children in another couple. On the contrary, if the couple's opinions focused on genetic aspects, they would regard these children as their own. In this case they opted for destruction or experimentation (in both cases the embryos will be finally destroyed), even if they consider that the in vitro embryo is already a child. The statue of the embryo do not interfere with the choice for the fate of the supernumerary embryos. Religion, to have children already, and the project to adopt in case of treatment failure did not influence their choice. Regarding the possible multiple pregnancy risk, couples attitude differs from twins to triplets. Twins are nearly always accepted and even considered by one-third of patients a suitable result for the treatment. On the opposite, one-third refuse the perspective of triplets. Fourteen percent of couples declare in this case they would ask for fetal reduction.

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