Single Embryo Transfer
The main goal and purpose of in vitro fertilization (IVF) is to successfully accomplish a healthy pregnancy and birth. In the past, a growing problem with IVF was the higher risk of a multiple pregnancy, which can cause serious complications for some women. This is why the single embryo transfer (SET) option has become more common with couples who have fertility or health issues.
A SET is when only one embryo is transferred into the uterus during the IVF procedure. With IVF in the past, it was particularly difficult to select the best embryo that would result in a successful pregnancy. Because of this challenging task, several embryos would routinely be transferred during the procedure to increase the chances of conception.
While several studies show that some prospective parents desire having a twin pregnancy, it can cause serious perinatal and maternal complications, not to mention quite a financial burden. Some couples prefer a twin pregnancy, so their family can be completed in one IVF treatment compared to the cost of multiple treatments. However, it’s important to understand the long term cost of a twin pregnancy is much greater than having several IVF treatments with a single embryo transfer.
The decision regarding the amount of embryos to be transferred during IVF is extremely important, and is one of the most frequently asked questions in fertility clinics. It is well known with IVF that a larger amount of embryos transferred can increase the success rates of a pregnancy, but it also increases the chance of a multiple pregnancy and serious complications. That is why this is an important issue that needs to be discussed with the fertility clinic before a transfer occurs.
An adequate amount of embryos has to be transferred to help ensure that a successful pregnancy will occur, but not to the point where twins, triplets, or even more pregnancies can occur. Studies have shown that the transfer of a single embryo during a new IVF cycle in unison with the subsequent transfer cycle of the frozen embryo can result in similar successful pregnancy rates of two transferred embryos. However, this will cause a significantly lower rate of experiencing multiple births.
The advancements with technology in the medical field are making it more reliable and easier to scientifically identify the best possible embryos to be transferred. This is done by a technician in a laboratory that classifies each embryo based on a detailed analysis of their appearance, size and number of cells, clarity, rate of development, and the absence or presence of cell fragments.
After analyzing the embryos, the best ones are then chosen to be transferred. Due to the significant perinatal and maternal complications that are associated with multiple pregnancies, it is crucial to take the proper measures to avoid and prevent all possible risks.
Due to the significant perinatal and maternal complications that are associated with multiple pregnancies, it is crucial to take the proper measures to avoid and prevent all possible risks. This can be done by being properly informed on all aspects and risks of the procedure, and with having a multiple pregnancy, as well as transferring the least amount of embryos as possible.