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Study Says Two Singleton Pregnancies Less Costly than Twins

a blog by Claire, December 20, 2012

If you think you’re boosting your odds for success and getting more for your money by transferring two embryos, think again. A study published in the American Society for Reproductive Medicine journal Fertility and Sterility last week says it’s the health risks that may cost you.

Fertility doctors have been encouraged in recent years to move away from the long time standard of double embryo transfer- and according to the 2010 SART data, they’re doing just that. Technology has advanced so that Single Embryo Transfers (SETs) have success rates comparable, if not surpassing double embryo transfer rates, particularly when combined with Pregenetic Screening (PGS) to assess chromosomal fitness of an embryo, thus its likelihood of developing into a healthy pregnancy.

Read: Single Embryo Transfer with Chromosome Screening Superior to Double Embryo Transfer.

The ultimate goal of IVF is 100% implantation and live birth rate after a single embryo transfer. While we are still years away from that kind of guarantee for IVF success, data suggests it is still in the best interest of fertility patients to transfer just one embryo per pregnancy attempt.

Swedish researchers on the aforementioned study compared maternal and neonatal outcomes of mothers undergoing two separate SETs and resulting pregnancies versus one IVF twin pregnancy. Results indicated mothers of two singleton pregnancies fared much better than mothers of twins in terms of their health and the health of their children. Some of the risks of a multiples gestation include preterm labor, low birth weight, and extended hospital stays for the mother and infants- that’s a medical bill you don’t want to see!

There is a common misconception that double embryo transfers will increase the odds of getting pregnant. However, it is quality, not quantity that best indicates chance of implantation. It is safer and more cost efficient in the long run for IVF patients to pursue two single embryo transfers and gestations than one multiple gestation.


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