Single Embryo Transfer – the time has comePros and ConsAfter years of suffering from infertility, many couples turn to surrogacy as the only alternative to creating a biological child of their own. Unfortunately, failed IVF cycle after failed IVF cycle, or one miscarriage followed by another will have exhausted many couples before they begin the journey through surrogacy. In addition, the financial burden added to the emotional cost of repeated IVF cycles can rapidly drain a couple's resources. It is therefore easy to understand why so many couples hope for a twin surrogacy pregnancy. The toll of infertility results in many couples willing to accept the risk of multiples, but at what cost?This article will look at the option of implanting a single embryo and the risks associated with a twin or other multiple pregnancy. It is easy to understand that the larger the number of embryos implanted the larger the risk of multiple embryos implanting and therefore the riskier the pregnancy is for the surrogate mother and the unborn babies. A single embryo transfer resulting in a single gestation is logically less risky than carrying sextuplets.Typically an infertility doctor in the United States will implant 2-5 embryos back into a woman’s uterus. It is commonly believed that the larger the number of embryos implanted, the higher the chance of obtaining a pregnancy. Now a growing body of research suggests that, ultimately, implanting one embryo is just as likely to lead to a pregnancy as implanting multiple embryos. In addition this research suggests that the likelihood of multiple births, premature birth and low birth weight increases with the number of embryos implanted during an IVF procedure. (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/05/health/webmd/main3336719.shtml)(The New England Journal of Medicine Volume 351:2392-2402 Dec 2, 2004 Number 23)NOTE: Common to almost all the research is the criteria for patient selection for Single Embryo Transfer: All candidates in this group should only include women who are at the highest risk of multiples and the lowest risk of reduced pregnancy rates/miscarriages:
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