Avoiding Double Trouble

RENO, NV - It's estimated one-third of twins born here in the U.S. are a result of infertility treatments.

It typically occurs when doctors place two embryos in a female patient anticipating at least one if not both of those embryos will result in a baby.

“Got to 37 weeks and my babies were both big and healthy and I was uncomfortable so they said, you can have these,” says Susan Willingham who successfully underwent infertility treatments.

Susan's babies had no problem and she's says if faced the with prospect now, she'd do it again.

But twins do run the risk of being born prematurely and as a consequence can develop serious health problems.

That's one reason infertility specialist are attempting pregnancies with just one embryo.

It's possible with new techniques that can determine good quality embryos before implantation.

But not all centers have the such testing.

“Until changes in reimbursement occur, for patients to have these procedures covered by insurance, then its going to stay the same. Its going to be one to 2 embryos transfer for most patients,” says Dr. Scott Whitten, an infertility specialist.

That additional embryonic testing means $4,000 to an already $12,000-to-$14,000 dollar cost per cycle.

Unfortunately Dr. Whitten says while emotions play a big role in infertility treatment, economics are a bigger factor.

Dr. Whitten says because of that, after careful counseling, if a patient wants to continue with the 2 embryo process, he would proceed.

The one time embryo concept is catching on however, in 2007 4% of women 35 and under opted for the procedure.

That number now is at 12%.

While this debate continues in the U.S., in Europe it's not a problem.

That's because many countries pay or infertility treatments which require using one embryo at a time.