What is elective single embryo transfer?
With eSET, the hopeful parent or parents choose one embryo for implantation into the uterus. Usually, candidates of eSET have several healthy, viable options available. The fertility doctor will transfer the embryo using a simple, non-invasive procedure. Using ultrasound, the doctor uses a catheter to place the embryo into the womb. While the temptation may be to transfer more than one, there are benefits to using a single embryo.
No more multiples
The most significant risk to implanting multiple embryos is the chance of multiple pregnancies. Women run the risk of having twins or more as IVF has a 30% chance of multiple births. Some couples may want multiples. However, for most, having numerous births are not in the family’s plans. A single embryo transfer significantly reduces the odds of more than one child.
eSET may lead to healthier babies
Pregnancy is a delicate process that does come with risks to the fetus. These risks increase when carrying multiples. There is an elevated chance of premature births, increasing the health risks of at least one child. Twins often struggle with low birth weight, underdeveloped organs, and genetic conditions. Common conditions include anemia, infections, jaundice, and poor lung development.
eSET leads to safer moms
Moms also encounter health risks when carrying more than one child. Each fetus increases the demands on the mother’s body, leading to conditions like spinal conditions, hypertension, or gestational diabetes. There are also health risks involved with undergoing preterm labor. The risks of IVF often involve multiple births, so opting for one embryo reduces these risks significantly.
Improved IVF outcomes
In the past, most IVF cycles involved implanting multiple embryos. The more embryos implanted, the higher the chances of success. This concept remains today, but the IVF process has improved significantly. The chances of a viable candidate creating healthy eggs and sperm are much higher. Furthermore, genetic testing can help clinics choose the best possible embryos. Clinics can now recommend a single transfer with the expectation that the woman will get pregnant.
Make the right choice
Using one or more embryos per IVF cycle is optional. Some patients and clinics still prefer multiple transfers. However, multiple or single transfers depend on insurance, state laws, and the clinic’s philosophy. The health and safety benefits of patients and children come first. Furthermore, if the IVF cycle fails, there will be more viable embryos to try again.