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Single vs. Multiple Embryo Transfer: What You Should Know

By Dr. Kalan on November 29, 2018


EmbryosIn vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a fertility treatment that has helped many men and women overcome infertility and realize their dreams of starting a family.

An important decision that patients must make when undergoing IVF is how many embryos to have transferred to the uterus at one time. At Los Angeles Reproductive Center, Drs. Marc Kalan and Nurit Winkler work closely with patients to help them decide between single versus multiple embryo transfer.

If you live in or around Los Angeles, CA and would like to learn more about IVF and embryo transfer, we welcome you to schedule your personal consultation.

The Benefits of Single Embryo Transfer

One of the biggest benefits of single embryo transfer is that it is less likely to result in twins than multiple embryo transfer. While some may see this as a disadvantage, the truth is carrying multiples increases the risks to the fetuses and the mother.

Although multiples can be born healthy, they are more likely to be born prematurely than singletons. Lower birth weights are also more common, the risk of which increases as the number of multiples increases.

Additionally, women carrying more than one baby at a time are more likely to develop complications during pregnancy. Some of the most common complications include high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes.

Single Embryo Transfer and Conception

One reason some patients choose to have multiple eggs transferred instead of one is to try to increase their chance of successfully conceiving during a single round of IVF.

Women in their late 30s and into their 40s often don't experience the same success rates with a single embryo transfer as they do with multiple embryo transfer. For these patients, multiple transfer may provide the most successful results. 

Single Embryo Transfer Can Work for Older Women

Single embryo transfer can be successful for women over their mid-thirties. One key factor in success rates is egg quality. As women age, the quality of their eggs decreases. Harvesting eggs before a woman is 35 and freezing them for future use can preserve egg quality.

Women older than 35 who use eggs that were harvested when they were younger often experience the same success rate with single embryo transfer as women who are under 35. This means older women can have a single embryo transferred and save the rest of their embryos for when they are ready to have another child. 

The Benefits of Multiple Embryo Transfer

Multiple embryo transfer is most beneficial to women who are over 35 and did not have their eggs frozen when they were younger. In such cases, multiple embryo transfer can be more successful than single embryo transfer.

Another thing many patients consider a benefit with multiple embryo transfer is the increased chances of multiple births. Although there are risks to the mother and babies, for many couples who have struggled to become pregnant the idea of having not only one but two (or more) children would be a dream come true.

Deciding Between Single vs. Multiple Embryo Transfer

Deciding between single versus multiple embryo transfer is not a decision to take lightly. For some women, multiple embryo transfer will increase the risk of successfully conceiving, while other women are just as likely to conceive with a single embryo transfer. The right option depends on the unique needs of each patient and should be decided with the help of a qualified fertility doctor.

Learn More about Fertility Treatment

To learn more about single versus multiple embryo transfer, or for answers to your questions about fertility treatments, please call (818) 946-8051 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kalan or Dr. Winkler.

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Drs. Nurit Winkler and Marc Kalan of Los Angeles Reproductive Center are a unique fertility clinic focused on treating patients like family and built upon the principles of communication, compassion, warmth, openness, and service that accompanies an exceptional pregnancy rate. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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