It has long been standard practice in the field of in vitro fertilization (IVF) to transfer multiple embryos to improve the chances that at least one viable pregnancy will result. However, the process of multiple transfers presents increased serious risks and complications to both mothers and infants when twin, triplet and higher-order pregnancies occur. These complications range from preeclampsia and gestational diabetes to higher rates of C-section and psychological issues for the moms, and to prematurity, birth complications, long-term learning disabilities and developmental problems in their offspring. In one study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), half of the infants from multiple pregnancies had adverse outcomes.
To address these concerns, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut offers an option to its patients called Elective Single Embryo Transfer (ESET), or the transfer of just one embryo at a time during IVF. This policy is in keeping with the guidelines of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), which currently recommends single embryo transfer for women under 35 who have a good chance of achieving a pregnancy.
Besides reducing the physical and psychological risks associated with high-order pregnancies, the risk of costly complications from a single embryo transfer is much less than those associated with multiple embryo transfers. According to preliminary data from the CDC, single embryo transfer would save a total of $1 billion in health care costs nationwide.
In summary, ESET is a viable option for many women who choose IVF, especially if they don’t want to risk a multiple pregnancy or if they have a pre-existing medical condition that makes a multiple pregnancy unsafe. Patients are advised to discuss the ESET CT option with their RMACT physician to determine if it is the best choice for them.
For more information on ESET, contact us.