Women considering in-vitro fertilization may want to pay attention to a new study that found no difference in delivery rates for women who received one prescreened embryo and those implanted with two unscreened embryos.
Many women want to have two embryos transferred because they think it will improve their chances of becoming pregnant. For some women, medical costs are a factor because insurance does not always cover the IVF process.
Researchers with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that transferring a single chromosomally normal embryo is better in terms of health for women and babies. It also results in women having fewer twins.
“The technology exists today to make single-embryo transfer the standard of care across age groups, eliminating the vast majority of complications stemming from IVF, while maintaining excellent delivery rates for couples who have struggled with infertility,” said Dr. Eric Forman, the lead researcher at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, who also is associated with Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey in Basking Ridge, N.J.
His group looked at 175 women under the age of 43, who were divided into two groups: The first group received one genetically prescreened embryo and the second underwent a double-embryo transfer with no screening. While both groups had equal pregnancy rates, the researchers noted that single-embryo transfers did not result in twins while 53% of double-embryo transfers were multiples.
Other benefits to transferring one pre-screened embryo include longer gestation than double-embryo transfers, which had a threefold risk of pre-term delivery. The single-embryo transfers also were linked with greater newborn birth weight, fewer admissions and shorter stays in the neonatal intensive care unit.
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