BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in: Health
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Background Briefings 
Medical notes 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Friday, 26 October, 2001, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
Sex warning for IVF couples
Egg
Extra eggs were released and fertilised
Doctors have been asked to warn some couples having IVF not to have sex during treatment after a woman got pregnant "twice".

The couple involved - who had been unable to conceive, despite appearing to be physically normal, were being treated in California.

It is thought that not only did the IVF work, but the woman managed to conceive naturally at the same time.

The woman ended up carrying quads - despite only having two embryos transferred back into her womb by doctors.

The freakish outcome was the result of having sex five days prior to the retrieval of eggs for IVF.

Both IVF embryos implanted successfully in the womb lining - and the embryo resulting from the natural pregnancy split in two to make identical twins.


It may be prudent to caution IVF patients with no tubal or semen abnormalities against unprotected intercourse once the early days of ovarian hyperstimulation are over

Dr Amin Milki
Genetic tests on the identical twin's placenta revealed that splitting had taken place before implantation in the womb wall.

Dr Amin Milki, of the Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics at Stanford University, said: "It is just possible that the identical twins could have resulted from one of the embryos splitting.

"But even if that were true at least one foetus would have been conceived spontaneously. That is incontestable based on the genetic testing."

He said that the risks involved with multiple pregnancy meant that couples should be taking care to avoid even a tiny risk, especially if tests have shown no apparent problems with either semen quality or the woman's fallopian tubes.


If a woman is on this particular regime, we do advise her to avoid unprotected sex during a cycle

Dr Simon Fishel, Care Clinic, Nottingham
Dr Milki said: "It may be prudent to caution IVF patients with no tubal or semen abnormalities against unprotected intercourse once the early days of ovarian hyperstimulation are over."

However, a UK fertility expert said he already advised couples undergoing IVF to abstain from unprotected sex during some of the days of a treatment cycle.

Dr Simon Fishel, director of the Care fertility centre in Nottingham, told BBC News Online: "There is a particular drug given to women at the beginning of the cycle so that doctors can control their ovaries.

"This drug, when it is first given, can stimulate the ovaries, and this may be what has happened here."

He added: "If a woman is on this particular regime, we do advise her to avoid unprotected sex during a cycle."

Having quadruplets increases the risk to both mother and babies, and in this case all four were delivered at 32 weeks.

The case was outlined in the journal Human Reproduction.

See also:

31 Jan 01 | Health
New test for infertile men
27 Feb 01 | Health
Human ovaries 'grown in mice'
01 Oct 01 | Health
'Legalise IVF sex selection'
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories