The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

December 2, 2013

Fertility doctors aim to lower rate of twin births

BOSTON (AP) — Doctors are reporting an epidemic — of twins. Nearly half of all babies born with advanced fertility help are multiple births, new federal numbers show.

In the five years since the "Octomom" case, big multiple births have gone way down but the twin rate has barely budged. Twins aren't always twice as nice; they have much higher risks of prematurity and serious health problems.

Now fertility experts are pushing a new goal: One. A growing number of couples are attempting pregnancy with just a single embryo, helped by new ways to pick the ones most likely to succeed. New guidelines urge doctors to stress this approach.

Abigail and Ken Ernst of Oldwick, N.J., did this to conceive Lucy, a daughter born in September. Using one embryo at a time "just seemed the most normal, the most natural way" to conceive and avoid a high-risk twin pregnancy, the new mom said.

Not all couples feel that way, though. Some can only afford one try with in vitro fertilization, or IVF, so they insist that at least two embryos be used to boost their odds, and view twins as two for the price of one.

Many patients "are telling their physicians 'I want twins,'" said Barbara Collura, president of Resolve, a support and advocacy group. "We as a society think twins are healthy and always come out great. There's very little reality" about the increased medical risks for babies and moms, she said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's most recent numbers show that 46 percent of IVF babies are multiples — mostly twins — and 37 percent are born premature. By comparison, only 3 percent of babies born without fertility help are twins and about 12 percent are preterm.

It's mostly an American problem — some European countries that pay for fertility treatments require using one embryo at a time.

Text Only
AP National
  • Obama voices skepticism on Russia in Ukraine WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama conveyed skepticism Thursday about Russian promises to de-escalate a volatile situation in Ukraine, and said the United State and its allies are ready to impose fresh sanctions if Moscow doesn't make good on i

    April 18, 2014

  • Late sign-ups improve outlook for Obama health law WASHINGTON (AP) — A surge of eleventh-hour enrollments has improved the outlook for President Barack Obama's health care law, with more people signing up overall and a much-needed spark of interest among young adults. Nonetheless, Obama's announcemen

    April 18, 2014

  • Cyber cops: Target hackers may take years to find WASHINGTON (AP) — Secret Service investigators say they are close to gaining a full understanding of the methods hackers used to breach Target's computer systems last December. But the agency says it could take years to identify the criminals who sto

    April 18, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. UKRAINIAN MILITIA DENIES CALLS TO FREE BUILDINGS Pro-Russian insurgents in the east who have been occupying government buildings say they will

    April 18, 2014

  • White House updating online privacy policy WASHINGTON (AP) — A new Obama administration privacy policy released Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites, and it clarifies that online comments, whether

    April 18, 2014

  • A year after background check defeat, modest goals WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic worries about this November's elections, a lack of Senate votes and House opposition are forcing congressional gun-control supporters to significantly winnow their 2014 agenda, a year after lawmakers scuttled President Ba

    April 16, 2014

  • Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies WASHINGTON (AP) — Negative campaigning and mudslinging may be a fact of life in American politics, but can false accusations made in the heat of an election be punished as a crime? That debate makes its way to the Supreme Court next week as the justi

    April 16, 2014

  • College Board provides a glimpse of new SAT WASHINGTON (AP) — Anxious students — not to mention their parents — can get a heads-up for how the redesigned SAT might look in two years. Sample questions for the new version of the college-entrance test were released on Wednesday by the College Boa

    April 16, 2014

  • End of NYPD Muslim surveillance program applauded NEW YORK (AP) — Muslim groups and civil liberties advocates applauded the decision by New York Police Department officials to disband a controversial unit that tracked the daily lives of Muslims as part of efforts to detect terrorism threats, but the

    April 16, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. NEARLY 300 PEOPLE ARE MISSING AFTER KOREAN BOAT SINKS The accident involving a ferry that was headed to a tourist island killed three passenger

    April 16, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National