Fertility treatment is filled with a number of decisions. Decisions about protocols during IVF are crucial. Specifically, decisions about medication dosage and the number of embryos transferred are of utmost priority.This is something that many patients struggle with. There is a widely held belief that transferring multiple eggs results in a higher chance of becoming pregnant.
At New Hope Fertility Center in New York, I have encountered a few couples who, after a few years of trying to conceive and no infertility tests done, come and tell me that they wanted to do and are ready for an IVF treatment. When this situation happens, we explain to patients that not all infertile couples need to do IVF. First, we will need to check the semen quality. If it is poor quality, the woman does not need to have a tubal patency test undergoing IVF treatment. If the semen quality is poor, the sperm does not have the ability to naturally fertilize the egg. On the other hand, if the semen quality is good, the woman will need to have a tubal patency test. If the tubes are normal, they may consider artificial insemination; if the tubes are abnormal (or blocked), they may need IVF treatment.
In vitro fertilization, commonly referred to as IVF, treatment concludes with the transfer of embryos directly into a woman’s uterus. From there it is a waiting game to see if the transferred embryos implant, resulting in pregnancy. In traditional IVF treatment, multiple embryos are transferred with the belief that increasing the number of embryos also increases the chance of pregnancy. However, research shows this is not the case. Transferring multiple embryos does not increase pregnancy rates. What does increase is the likelihood of conceiving multiples which can result in significant health risks to both mother and child.
At New Hope, we promote single embryo transfers as a part of in vitro fertilization, or IVF, treatment. For years, couples have been told that transferring multiple embryos will provide them with the best chance of becoming pregnant. New research disputes this, with research showing that success rates with single embryo transfers rival that of multiple embryo transfers. What does increase with multiple embryo transfers is the likelihood of conceiving twins, triplets or high order multiples.