Is it unethical for a doctor to impant more than three eggs during IVF?

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) . 1 answer . 1 year ago

If a 38-year-old woman is undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) and her doctor has seven fertilized eggs that he can implant in here, is it unethical to implant more than three of those eggs? Where is the line drawn?

ANSWERS FROM DOCTORS


1 year ago by Fertility Center & Applied Genetics of Florida

No, it is not unethical to transfer a larger number of embryos. There are guidelines that we follow that are set forth by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, but the final decision rests with the physician and his or her patient. Some patients make a larger number of abnormal embryos, genetically speaking. A 38-year-old can certainly do this. That is why many of us will increase the level of aggressiveness with older patients. Implanting 3 embryos into a 38-year-old is not unethical at all. You need to discuss the risks with your physician and weigh these with the chance of pregnancy. One can be aggressive with either technology or numbers. By technology I mean that pre-implantation genetic testing (PGS) can be carried out. Once one knows that a particular embryo has the normal number of chromosomes, then one can talk about single embryo transfers regardless of maternal age. This is much more applicable if the embryos are tested at the blastocyst stage. By being aggressive with numbers, I mean that one can implant more embryos and the more normal ones will usually implant and grow. If you are asking this question and you are in a doctor/patient relationship, you should seek your physician out and share your concerns.

1 year ago by Fertility Center & Applied Genetics of Florida (View Profile)

No, it is not unethical to transfer a larger number of embryos. There are guidelines that we follow that are set forth by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, but the final decision rests with the physician and his or her patient. Some patients make a larger number of abnormal embryos, genetically speaking. A 38-year-old can certainly do this. That is why many of us will increase the level of aggressiveness with older patients. Implanting 3 embryos into a 38-year-old is not unethical at all. You need to discuss the risks with your physician and weigh these with the chance of pregnancy. One can be aggressive with either technology or numbers. By technology I mean that pre-implantation genetic testing (PGS) can be carried out. Once one knows that a particular embryo has the normal number of chromosomes, then one can talk about single embryo transfers regardless of maternal age. This is much more applicable if the embryos are tested at the blastocyst stage. By being aggressive with numbers, I mean that one can implant more embryos and the more normal ones will usually implant and grow. If you are asking this question and you are in a doctor/patient relationship, you should seek your physician out and share your concerns.


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