Reportative Medicine Institute’s, Dr. Shweta Nayak, discusses the importance of Single Embryo Transfers.

Since the inception of assisted reproductive technologies, providers aimed to develop strategies to increase treatment success, which was previously defined as clinical or live birth rates. However, the goals for contemporary practice have since evolved: treatment success is now not only defined by pregnancy rates, but also by employing strategies to improve the health and well-being of both mom and baby during pregnancy and following delivery.

In 2019, approximately 20% of IVF pregnancies in the US were twin pregnancies, however this is a significant decline from the 30% twin rate seen in 2010.  Optimization of extended culture, utilization of preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A), and the development of committee guidelines for embryo transfer from the American Society for Reproductive Technology, are just a few of the strategies that have brought about this change.

Shweta Nayak, M.D., FACOG

But why do we care?

It all goes back to optimizing the health and well-being of both Mom and baby, as unfortunately multiple pregnancies can be dangerous. For the mother, carrying more than one child can elevate the chances for miscarriage, hypertensive disorders (like preeclampsia), gestational diabetes, need for operative delivery (cesarean section), and postpartum complications such as postpartum hemorrhage.  Children who originate from multi fetal gestations also have higher risks for birth defects, intrauterine growth abnormalities, cerebral palsy, and preterm delivery (as well as all the complications that can come from being born prematurely, such as underdeveloped lungs, bleeding in the brain, and infections in the gut). As a result, and depending on the degree of prematurity, children may have a higher risk of death in the first few months of life or suffer from chronic lung, gut, and developmental problems.

The best way to mitigate these risks?

Consider single embryo transfer.

The best candidates for single embryo transfer fall into the following categories :

  •  Any aged recipient who is transferring an embryo which has undergone PGT-A
  • A recipient who is <38 years old and who has either a favorable day 3 or day 5 embryo available for transfer
  • A recipient of an embryo created with a donor egg
  • First time patients undergoing IVF, especially if they have multiple high-quality embryos available to freeze

At The Reproductive Medicine Institute, we are committed not only to optimizing your chances to conceive, but to also provide the best chances for a safe and healthy pregnancy. Talk to your fertility provider today to see if single embryo transfer is right for you!