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Single vs. Multiple Embryo Transfer

By HCRM on November 29, 2018


Embryo developmentIVF plays a role in many of the stages of conception, from ovulation to egg fertilization. After egg fertilization, viable embryos can be transferred directly to the uterus. At this stage of IVF treatment, patients must make an important decision about how many embryos to have transferred.

Is single or multiple embryo transfer a better option? This decision is based largely on personal preference and the unique needs of each patient.

The fertility specialists at the Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, PC discuss the pros and cons of single vs. multiple embryo transfer with our Omaha, NE patients so that they can make an informed decision about how many embryos will be transferred during their procedure.

Pros and Cons of Single Embryo Transfer

Single embryo transfer has grown much more common in recent years. When a patient chooses to have a single embryo transferred, our fertility specialists will grade each embryo and select the one with the highest rating for the transfer procedure. This maximizes the odds that the embryo will implant onto the lining of the uterus.

With a single embryo transfer, there is very little risk of a multiples birth. An embryo has the ability to split once it has been transferred, so we cannot guarantee that a patient will not become pregnant with multiples, but it is far less likely when a single embryo is transferred. Becoming pregnant with multiples carries a greater risk of complication for the mother and babies, which is why a single embryo transfer is preferred in many cases.

The downside of a single embryo transfer is that there is only one chance for implantation and pregnancy to succeed. However, with proper embryo selection, this may not be a concern.

If a woman is a good IVF candidate, and the selected embryo is highly-rated, single embryo transfer can have pregnancy success rates that are comparable to those of multiple embryo transfer.

Pros and Cons of Multiple Embryo Transfer

Initially, many patients want to have multiple embryos transferred during their IVF treatment. However, there are pros and cons to multiple embryo transfer.

The obvious pro of multiple embryo transfer is that there are more embryos, so it is more likely that at least one will implant and develop into a healthy fetus.

However, patients should understand that it is possible for IVF to be a success even if a single embryo is transferred. IVF success has much more to do with the quality of the embryos and the age and health of the patient.

The downside of multiple embryo transfer is that it carries a higher risk of a multiples birth. The idea of an instantly large family may not sound too bad, but there are medical risks to consider.

Multiples births are more likely to cause complications for the mother. In addition, the babies are more likely to be born premature or with low birth weights.

Contact Us

If you are considering IVF treatment and would like to learn more about the procedure, contact us at your earliest convenience. The fertility specialists at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, PC can answer any questions you may have. Call (402) 717-4200 to set up a personal consultation.

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Each and every staff member at Heartland Center is tremendous. Dr. Maclin is a woman of grace, and a terrific medical doctor. She is a world-class surgeon, and we are so grateful to know her.

Lene - IVF Patient

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