The Power Of One
For women and couples struggling with infertility, IVF has become the go-to solution. Known as in vitro fertilization, a fertility clinic extracts eggs and sperm to create an embryo. The embryos are then implanted in the uterus for a possible pregnancy. In the past, standard IVF procedures implanted multiple embryos to increase the chances of pregnancy. Women can now choose an elective single embryo transfer: one embryo with the same IVF success rates.
Ready, eSET, go!
Elective single embryo transfer, known as eSET, transfers just one embryo into the mother’s uterus. During the IVF process, the clinic will produce multiple embryos or possess multiple from a previous cycle. With eSET, the clinic chooses the best one of the bunch, increasing the chances of a successful pregnancy. The goal is to help the woman have a single birth pregnancy. Anyone considering IVF must also think about eSET. Why? Here are 3 facts help clear things up.
1. eSET reduces the chances of multiple pregnancies
IVF is an excellent, viable solution for women and couples struggling with fertility. However, the procedure comes with the caveat of the risk of multiple births. Statistics show that IVF patients have a 30% chance of twins and a 4% chance of multiple births. Hormone medication and placing numerous embryos in the uterus increase the chances for multiple births. From a family planning standpoint, some women and couples may not want multiple births. A single embryo transfer removes these unwanted odds.
2. Both mother and baby’s health is of paramount importance
With multiples come a range of health risks that can affect both mother and baby. For starters, there is a large emotional toll that comes with pregnancy. Women also have increased chances of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and C-sections. Unborn babies are also at risk of being born premature, having developmental disabilities, and early mortality. An eSET significantly reduces these risks and concerns.
3. IVF has come a long way
Over the years, IVF has become more accurate due to added steps like intracytoplasmic sperm injections (ICSI) and blastocyst cultures. Statistics now show that eSET has the same pregnancy success rates as multiple transfers. Women will benefit from the reduced health risk of multiple transfers while having equal chances of live birth. Even with this success rate, nothing is without risk. There is still a chance of multiples with eSET. Twins can always happen naturally, and so can potential complications. However, the success rate evens the playing field for elective transfers.
Consider eSET today
eSET will evolve into the standard in the years to come since one live birth should always be the goal. For the health of those involved, some groups have limited the number of embryos implanted per cycle. At the same time, elective single embryo transfer is not for everyone. The best candidates are young women going through the first IVF cycle with no underlying medical conditions. Women not in this category may benefit from multiple transfers. However, most clinics allow all women to choose eSET. If IVF is in the cards, speak with the clinic about eSET as part of fertility counseling.