Singleton birth


Women who elect single embryo transfer as part of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) are five times more likely to give birth to a healthy singleton baby compared with double embryo transfer.

SET yields healthier babies

A study published in the BMJ recommends that clinicians should advise women to have an elective single embryo transfer (SET) rather than the more popular double embryo transfer. While there has been increasing success with IVF, there have been growing concerns about the increased numbers of multiple births and the complications that come with carrying more than one baby. Increased maternal and perinatal illness and death as well as increased costs of medical care are continuing concerns.

Fewer health risks

This particular study took a look at a large group of women who elected SET and another equally sized group of women who chose DET. When the data was crunched, they discovered that chances of a full-term single birth (over 37 weeks) following SET were almost five times higher than those following DET. SET also reduced the risk of premature births. Pregnant women were 87% more likely to avoid a premature birth before 37 weeks with SET.

SET should be default

“Our review should be useful in informing decision in making regarding the number of embryos to transfer in IVF. Given the opportunity for replacing a single frozen thawed embryo in a subsequent cycle, elective single embryo transfer should thus be the default position,” stated researchers.

“At a time when the beginning of assisted reproduction is being recognized as an outstanding contribution to medical science, practitioners have a responsibility to develop its use wisely. Doctors managing infertile couples are no longer entitled to take risks with the health of the net generations,” said Allan Templeton, Professor of Obstetrics, University of Aberdeen.

Source: BMJ, MedicalPress


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