Our mission at RSC is to deliver the highest quality patient care that provides the best opportunities for making people families. We believe that a single healthy pregnancy has the best outcome from fertility treatment.
In recent years most IVF programs have transferred fewer and fewer embryos, as the greatest opportunity for problems to occur from IVF treatments exist in multiple pregnancies. Triplets and higher multiple pregnancies are at a very high risk for early delivery and problems resulting from prematurity.
Twin pregnancies are also at a significantly higher risk for birth defects over a singleton pregnancy. Twins on average are born 4-5 weeks early, are seven times more likely to be born very premature compared to single births, have a 3.4 percent chance of having a severe handicap and 6 percent chance of one or both of the babies dying. For this reason, our goal (and so too should be yours) is to have a single healthy pregnancy.
With improvements in the IVF laboratory, good facilities can successfully grow many embryos to the blastocyst stage (five or six days of growth) and by doing this we can better select the strongest, healthiest embryos.
At RSC we have found that we can transfer a single, good quality blastocyst (ESET – elective single embryo transfer) in women under the age of 38 and maintain very high pregnancy rates. We can achieve even higher pregnancy rates transferring a single embryo when donor eggs are used. At RSC in 2012:
- 31 percent of all IVF cycles in women under the age of 38 had an ESET resulting in a 61 percent pregnancy rate. In the first quarter of 2013, 52 percent of women under the age of 38 had an ESET with a 71 percent pregnancy rate.
- 50 percent of women using donor eggs had an ESET resulting in a 73 percent pregnancy rate. In the first quarter of 2013, 80 percent of women using donor eggs had an ESET resulting in an 88 percent pregnancy rate.
Women 38 years of age and older should generally transfer more than one embryo because even good quality blastocyst embryos have a higher chance of being genetically abnormal (and usually not implanting) as women get older. These women may want to consider IVF with Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) to sort out genetically abnormal embryos, and then transfer just one or two genetically normal embryos.
If the IVF program you work with does not do blastocyst embryo transfers and ESET’s, they do not have you or your baby’s best interest in mind.
At RSC we are seeing higher pregnancy rates from ESET in these groups of women, and are very comfortable recommending this practice. We believe this will give you the best chance for a safe, healthy pregnancy.