The Successes of Assisted Reproductive Technology
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has been used in the United States since 1987 to help women become pregnant. Since then, more than one million babies have been born in the US thanks to in vitro fertilization (IVF) or other methods of ART. If you have decided that ART is right for you, the next thing you will need to consider is the number of embryos to transfer during your IVF cycle.
Options for transferring embryos
The goal of every IVF treatment cycle is the delivery of a full-term, healthy baby. You may think that transferring two embryos at the same time can increase your overall chance of becoming pregnant. What it does do is increase your chance of having a multiple pregnancy.
You may prefer a single-embryo transfer because it means that you will not give birth to twins. Twin pregnancies may involve complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, preterm delivery, and low birth weight. Not to mention the fact that caring for two infants at the same time can be exhausting.
On the other hand, you may prefer to opt for a double embryo transfer because you think it increases the chance of pregnancy. The idea of having a twin birth may also be desirable, particularly if you have been trying to conceive for some time or if you are paying for your treatment out of pocket rather than with insurance.
Embryo transfer guidelines
According to the International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics guidelines, the number of embryos transferred during each IVF cycle will depend on your age as well as your personal choice, though in most cases, if you are under the age of 35, your gynecologist will recommend using just one embryo.
Can transferring two embryos have a negative effect?
A recent study conducted by the Nurture Fertility clinic in Nottingham, UK, showed that implanting two embryos during an IVF cycle may reduce your chances of becoming pregnant by up to 27% if one embryo is in a poorer state of health than the other. Medical experts believe that this is because the body focuses on the less healthy embryo rather than the stronger one, causing the pregnancy to become compromised. The same study also revealed that transferring two good-quality embryos gives just that same chance of achieving pregnancy as transferring one healthy embryo.
Bearing this mind, you may want to consider transferring two embryos in one IVF cycle if you’re hoping for twins, but you need to make sure that your doctor tests the quality of the embryos before transfer. If you are happy with the prospect of a healthy singleton, then a one-embryo transfer may be right for you.
Would you like to discuss your embryo transfer options further? Contact us today to learn more about your options.