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One Embryo or Two? Or Three or Four?

Maybe you're nervous about undergoing fertility treatment because you're worried about twins or triplets. Or maybe you just can't shake the images of Octomom during those last months of pregnancy. (Who can, really?)

The fact is, the safest pregnancy with the best chance for a healthy baby is a singleton pregnancy. In vitro fertilization (IVF) does not have to increase your risk of multiples because can elect to have a single embryo transfer (SET). In October, the Practice Committees of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) issued a report calling for an increase in the use of elective SET in good prognosis patients undergoing IVF.

In SET, one embryo is selected and placed in the fallopian tube or uterus. The embryo could be a fresh embryo, a frozen embryo from a prior IVF cycle or a donor embo. Several studies have found that single embryo transfer performed in a high quality laboratory is the best solution for patients who have a good prognosis, including:

  • patients under age 35
  • patients who have more than one high quality embryo available for transfer
  • patients in their first or second IVF treatment cycle
  • those with prior successful IVF cycles
  • recipients of donor eggs

Advances in embryology, such as the ability to grow embryos to the blastocyst stage before transfer, mean that SET is increasingly going to be the treatment of choice for many patients. Need more information? Read the latest blog by East Cost Infertility & IVF's Dr. Beth Hartog: Is Single Embryo Transfer (SET) Right for You? Or watch the video with InVia Fertility Services' Dr. Vishvanath Karande: What Is the Risk of Multiples with Fertilty Drugs and IVF?

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