A couple must transfer at least 2 embryos in order to have any hope for a pregnancy, especially if the embryos have been frozen.
Many people think they must accept a multiple embryo transfer, and for some, that is their best option. The fact is though, that it highly depends on several factors, such as:
- The age and fertility status of the genetic mother. (Ours was young)
- The age and fertility status of the receiving mother. (I was in my late 20s, with no uterine deformities)
- The method of freezing and the age of the embryo(s). (Ours were frozen about 4 years before our first transfer, at 5 days of age- blastocyst stage)
- The skill and experience of the embryologist doing the thawing. (Our clinic has, I think, an excellent embryology team)
- How many embryo babies are in each "straw." (We received 4 straws- 3 of which had 1 embryo each, and one of which had 2)
I already knew I wanted to try a Single Embryo Transfer (SET), and my doctor recommended either 1 or 2 embryos, so it was an easy decision for us. I did realize that this might mean less of a likelihood of pregnancy on our first try. On the other hand, I was only risking one life at a time, and giving that one baby the best chance possible to be born full-term and healthy. We plan to do the same with the other single-embryo straws in the future.
For our first transfer, we chose to thaw and transfer only one embryo out of the five that we received from the donating family. She survived, and is taking a nap right now!