Singleton birth at term: an old alarm or a new debate?
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In 2004, Human Reproduction published a debate series focusing on the rising tide of multiple pregnancy associated with IVF. The premise of the primary report in that debate was that by considering IVF outcomes differently-by focusing on healthy singleton birth at term rather than clinical pregnancy, the standard currency at that time-the necessary shift toward reduced numbers of embryos transferred might be accelerated. The choice of end-point in that debate-Birth Emphasizing a Successful Singleton at Term (BESST)-was not an effort to 'dumb down' the complex equation linking risks and benefits. That balance is a dynamic and various mix of issues that clinicians discuss with patients on a daily basis. And BESST was certainly not proposed as a new primary outcome for application to other treatment modalities in reproductive medicine, such as ovulation induction. It was simply a responsible and brave call for change in the accelerating and competitive world of IVF.
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