February 7, 2015

Why We Prefer Transferring A Single Embryo

why choose elective single embryo transfer

Many women ask why we prefer transferring a single embryo into women less than 35 years of age, encourage this in women under 38 and leave it as an option for women 38 to 40.
Our internal data shows that our success rates (take home baby ranks) approach 55% with a single embryo transfer in the age group under 35 and even in the age group 35-38 our success rate is 45%. The doctors here at Fertility Centers of New England feel that an elective single embryo transfer is the safest way to have a healthy baby.

Many patients come in explaining that they would love to have twins. However, many patients are unaware of the significant dangers of a twin pregnancy. There are a number of complications to both the baby, as well as, the mother with twin pregnancies. The babies are at a seven times increase risk for death by by one year of age compared to Singleton pregnancies; this is largely due to risk of preterm birth and prolonged need for a care in the neonatal intensive care unit. These babies are also at risk of brain abnormalities with the risk of cerebral palsy increasing four times in twins compared to Singleton births. These risks are increased even more with triplet pregnancies. Twin babies are at increased risk of being stillborn and other obstetrical calamities. Risks to the mother include the need for bed rest premature labor, hypertension of pregnancy and cesarean section.

The truth is having a single embryo transfer twice will yield a much higher chance of having a healthy baby compared with transferring two embryos. At the Fertility Centers of New England we have chosen to limit double embryo transfers in women under the age of 38. Recently, two of the major health insurance providers in Massachusetts now have mandated that a single embryo be transferred in women under 38 during their first one or two transfers.

If you have more questions on single embryo transfer, please contact us!

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Robert M. Weiss, M.D.

Robert M. Weiss, M.D. Board-Certified Reproductive Endocrinologist