Invitro fertilization has come a long way since the first "test tube baby" was born, and success rates have increased dramatically. What did not change is that IVF is an expensive and often extremely stressful process for couples who are hoping to have a baby this way. It is no wonder that both healthcare providers and patients want to do everything in their power to maximize the odds of getting pregnant in a cycle of IVF.
This has meant, for the overwhelming majority of IVF patients, stimulating the production of as many eggs as possible with fertility drugs like Lupron, and then implanting more than one embryo during a cycle of invitro fertilization. Of course, this practice has contributed to the rising rate of twin and higher multiple births.
But, as you can see from the recent controversy around "selective reduction" for twin pregnancies, not everybody feels financially, physically and emotionally able to take care of twins, triplets, or even more babies at the same time. Couples who have come to the conclusion that "less is more" holds true when it comes to IVF may want to consider single embryo IVF.
Women who have one embryo transferred during IVF treatment are five times more likely to give birth to a healthy baby, the British newspaper The Guardian reported after a recent meta-analysis into the subject. But they also added that those who have two embryos are more likely to get pregnant but are at a greater risk of delivering a premature or low-weight child .
Single embryo IVF means, quite simply, that only one embryo is transferred to the uterus during the transfer procedure. This solution reduces the chance of twins, but not every fertility clinic is enthusiastic about this process. Implanting multiple embryos at once may increase success rates, but it is not the right choice for every IVF couple. If you have decided that single embryo IVF is the best decision for you, you will need to look for a fertility clinic that is comfortable with it, and that has relatively good success rates for single embryo transfers.