Couples with fertility problems seeking treatment with assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as in vitro fertilization should receive preconception counseling on all factors that are provided when counseling patients without fertility problems. Additional counseling should address success rates and possible risks from ART therapies. Success rates from ART are improving, with the highest live birth rates averaging about 40% per cycle among women less than 35 years old. A woman's age lowers the chance of achieving a live birth, as do smoking, obesity, and infertility diagnoses such as hydrosalpinx, uterine leiomyoma, or male factor infertility. Singletons conceived with ART may have lower birth weights. Animal studies suggest that genetic imprinting disorders may be induced by certain embryo culture conditions. The major risk from ovarian stimulation is multiple gestation. About one-third of live-birth deliveries from ART have more than one infant, and twins represent 85% of these multiple-birth children. There are more complications in multiple gestation pregnancies, infants are more likely to be born preterm and with other health problems, and families caring for multiples experience more stress. Transferring fewer embryos per cycle reduces the multiple birth rate from ART, but the patient may have to pay for additional cycles of ART because of a lower likelihood of pregnancy.
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