Single embryo transfer is an optional part of a fertility treatment, usually in vitro fertilization (IVF), that refers to the number of embryos implanted during the procedure.
How Single Embryo Differs
In traditional IVF treatments, your fertility specialist will implant more than one embryo at once to increase your chances of successful pregnancy. Single embryo transfer is less successful on average than multiple embryo transfer, but due to advances in fertility treatment technology, it is still successful much of the time.
The advantage of choosing the single embryo option over multiple embryo options is that you will have a much lower risk of multiple births. Many other fertility treatments options result in a high rate of multiple births, which can increase your risk of developing health problems and lead to a greater risk of your children developing health disorders.
Who Can Benefit from Single Embryo
Single women, couples unable to conceive and couples using a surrogate mother can benefit from single embryo transfer. Opting for the single embryo variation is a good choice for you if you'd like a decreased risk of multiple births. Women 39 and under, especially women younger than age 35, have the greatest chance of success. You, or the woman bearing your child or donating the eggs, should also meet the following conditions:
- Normal follicle-stimulation hormone levels (FSH)
- Ability to produce five or more healthy embryos with hormonal treatments
- A healthy uterus
Single embryo transfer is an option for virtually anyone who's an ideal candidate for fertility treatments. The procedure is a fitting choice for those who want a decreased risk of multiple births, although you should know that there is still a slightly higher risk for multiple births with single embryo IVF than there is with traditional pregnancies.