Pre-treatment preferences and characteristics among patients seeking in vitro fertilisation.
Walsh AP., Collins GS., Le Du M., Walsh DJ., Sills ES.
BACKGROUND: This study sought to describe patient features before beginning fertility treatment, and to ascertain their perceptions relative to risk of twin pregnancy outcomes associated with such therapy. METHODS: Data on readiness for twin pregnancy outcome from in vitro fertilisation (IVF) was gathered from men and women before initiating fertility treatment by anonymous questionnaire. RESULTS: A total of 206 women and 204 men were sampled. Mean (+/- SD) age for women and men being 35.5 +/- 5 and 37.3 +/- 7 yrs, respectively. At least one IVF cycle had been attempted by 27.2% of patients and 33.9% of this subgroup had initiated >/=3 cycles, reflecting an increase in previous failed cycles over five years. Good agreement was noted between husbands and wives with respect to readiness for twins from IVF (77% agreement; Cohen's K = 0.61; 95% CI 0.53 to 0.70). CONCLUSION: Most patients contemplating IVF already have ideas about particular outcomes even before treatment begins, and suggests that husbands & wives are in general agreement on their readiness for twin pregnancy from IVF. However, fertility patients now may represent a more refractory population and therefore carry a more guarded prognosis. Patient preferences identified before IVF remain important, but further studies comparing pre- and post-treatment perceptions are needed.