Researchers Predict IVF Patients' Chance of Having Twins

LOS ALTOS, Calif., June 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/
-- One of the biggest challenges in in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment today is the prospect of patients conceiving and giving birth to multiples, raising risks of medical complications. In a paper published on June 4 in Fertility and Sterility, the scientific journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine [see abstract at ScienceDirect.com], researchers report the results of an advanced statistical method that can reliably predict an individual IVF patient's chance of conceiving multiples before embryo transfer.

"Today, IVF patients and their physicians struggle with the choice of how many embryos to transfer," says Mylene Yao, M.D., one of the article's authors, a former Stanford University professor and now Co-Founder and CEO of Los Altos, Ca.-based Univfy Inc. "There is a general concern that transferring only one embryo can compromise the chance of pregnancy, and transferring even two embryos may raise the risks of multiple birth and associated obstetrical and neonatal complications. Personalized predictions of multiple birth risks enable patients and physicians to make safer and more informed embryo transfer decisions, while aiming to reduce incidence of unplanned multiple births."

Says Dr. Alan Penzias, surgical director at Boston IVF: "As happy as it seems when someone has twins, the risks in even a twin pregnancy are significantly higher than for a singleton. With the tool that Univfy has developed, we're able to get an idea if someone has a relatively low risk or an exceptionally high risk of a multiple pregnancy. Depending on their chances, we can counsel them to put in one embryo to minimize the risk of multiples or two embryos to boost their odds of getting pregnant at all."

In the journal article, entitled "Predicting personalized multiple birth risks after in vitrofertilization (IVF)-double embryo transfer (DET)," by Benjamin M. Lannon, M.D., et. al., the authors applied advanced statistical prediction analysis to 2,413 IVF double embryo transfer (DET) cycles that resulted in live births over a 10-year period (2000 to 2009) at Boston IVF, a large, private practice in Waltham, MA, whose providers are on the Harvard University faculty. The researchers found that individual IVF patients have inherently different risks of multiple birth probabilities, ranging from 11.8% to 54.8%--rates significantly different from probabilities based solely on age in over half the patients. The researchers' model showed over 100% improvement in predictive power over age-based probabilities commonly used today. Variables that most affected chances of multiple birth among the Boston IVF patients studied include age, number of four-cell embryos, total motile sperm, serum peak estradiol level, and Day 3 FSH levels.

About Univfy Inc.

Los Altos, CA-based Univfy Inc. is a privately-held company which develops and integrates powerful statistics and computation with an innovative Web platform to bring evidence-based, personalized medicine to fertility patients and their healthcare providers. For more information, see www.univfy.com.

SOURCE Univfy Inc.

Heather Holland2012