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Single embryo transfer in IVF program

Single embryo transfer in IVF program

The approach of single embryo transfer is the modern achievement of assisted reproductive technologies. This is the method that is chosen by all the leading clinics in the world. Myroslava Vatsik, a fertility doctor at ISIDA clinic, spoke about its advantages for clients of ISIDA clinic in her interview.

Why is the question about the number of embryo transfers during in vitro fertilization (IVF) so important?

IVF procedure development is going at a rapid pace. Since the introduction of the program till today, annual changes have been made in order to improve the results of IVF (pregnancy) as well as reduce the risks and complications for patients. In particular, the question of how many embryos to implant is very important. The fact is that the number of transferred embryos affects the chance of the beginning of multiple pregnancy. If it is three or more (this approach was widely used earlier), the number of births of twins and even triplets increases significantly. And it is single embryo transfer gives the smallest percentage of multiple pregnancies.

Why is multiple pregnancy so dangerous?

Multiple pregnancy is associated with many health risks for both mother and children.  Experience shows that these pregnant women have the increased risk factors for arterial hypertension, anemia and diabetes. In case of twins the frequency of premature births of preemies is quite significant, about 40-60%. For example, 10.1% of twin babies and 31.8% of triplets have low birth weight.

But if pregnancy is singleton, only 1,1% of newborns are born with low body weight . It is also well known that especially in case of multiple pregnancy, the newborns are much more in need of staying in neonatal intensive care units. Besides, according to statistics, twin babies have five times greater risk of disability starting from infantile cerebral palsy (CP) to chronic lung disease. Various nerve disorders and learning disabilities in future are also more common among children from multiple births. Thus, the appearance of single embryo transfer approach in assisted reproductive technologies is an outstanding step towards problem-free pregnancy and giving birth to a healthy baby.

Why are patients sometimes reluctant to single embryo transfer?

Patients mistakenly believe that the larger the number of embryos, the greater the chance of getting so long-awaited pregnancy and giving birth to a child. But this opinion is false. Judging from experience, by implanting three or more embryos, the pregnancy rate is 45%, at the same time, multiple pregnancy rate exceeds 30%. While during two or fewer embryos transfer, pregnancy rate remains 45%, but the number of multiple pregnancies is halved! In addition, it should be understood that this method allows to provide selection and to implant one or two embryos of better quality. Therefore, there is no decrease of the effectiveness of ART and the awaited pregnancy will come with the same chance as if transferring several embryos. It is worth saying that during three embryos transfer, there surely will be the reduction (this is the reduction of the number of live embryos at a certain period ). On the one hand, this procedure can reduce the number of embryos, but on the other hand it can negatively affect the nourishment of the fetus (the risk of pregnancy interruption is 10-20%).

Which is the dominant insemination approach at ISIDA clinic now?

Currently, ISIDA clinic has practically refused to perform transferring three embryos and become to transfer two embryos in cryo cycles to older patients and one embryo to younger patients with short-term infertility. Herewith, pregnancy rate has not decreased at all, but just on the contrary, it has increased!

So, has the method of single embryo transfer already proved its effectiveness?

Yes, almost all modern clinics of the world, that specialize in ART, prefer the method of one or two embryos transferring. ISIDA clinic keeps up with the latest scientific and medical technology advances. The fact of pregnancy is not the only important criterion for us, but also full-term pregnancies and giving birth to a healthy baby are very substantial.