Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mythbuster: A single embryo transfer

Under Inspection:

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.

Factual Experience:

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! 

So we went from this (embryo picture magnified times about a zillion)

To this:

To this:

Conclusion that SET never works, especially not on the first try: Myth!

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