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Study: Single Embryo Transfer is Cheapest/Most Effective ART Strategy

Science Daily,  Mar 25, 2009

Transferring single embryos to women's wombs over several assisted reproduction cycles that use both fresh and frozen embryos is more effective and cheaper than transferring two or more embryos at one time, according to data from the world's longest running series of patients who choose to have only one embryo implanted per cycle – elective single embryo transfer (eSET).

The authors of the Finnish study published online in Europe's leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction, say that their results effectively refute any concerns there have been up to now about the cost implications of an eSET policy and any fears that it could result in a lower rate of live births. In addition, it halves the rates of multiple pregnancies – the cause of potential medical complications and death for both babies and mothers.

The Finnish team compared the outcomes for 1,510 women seeking fertility treatment at a single clinic between 1995 and 1999 when double embryo transfer was more common and from 2000 to 2004 when single embryo transfers were more widespread.

They found that more babies were born at term for women who received a single embryo, with birth rates per woman of nearly 42 percent compared to about 37 percent for those who received multiple embryos.

Single embryo transfers are also cheaper, especially when it comes to costs related to treating complications caused by multiple births, the researchers said.

"These data should also encourage clinics to evaluate their embryo transfer policy and adopt eSET as their everyday practice for women younger than 40," concluded Dr. Hannu Martikainen of the University of Oulu in Finland, who led the study.

You can read more about the study here:


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