Learn why we perform single embryo transfer for many IVF patients
After struggling with infertility, many patients think that it would be ideal to transfer two or more IVF embryos. Their hope is to have more than one baby at a time. However, the team at Fertility Specialists of Texas has a different viewpoint. Having a pregnancy with twins or higher order multiples can be risky for both the mother and the babies. As a result, our Dallas-Fort Worth fertility clinic team often performs single embryo transfer, or SET.
What is single embryo transfer?
SET occurs as part of an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle. The woman who will provide the eggs for the pregnancy will take fertility medication. These medicines will stimulate the development of multiple eggs. One of our doctors will then retrieve these eggs during a short, outpatient procedure.
Embryologists in the IVF laboratory will fertilize the eggs with sperm. They will monitor the fertilized eggs to see which ones develop into embryos. With single embryo transfer, the fertility doctor then transfers just one high-quality embryo to the intended mother’s uterus. The embryologists freeze and store the remaining embryos for future use.
By transferring just one embryo at a time, we reduce the risk of having a multiple pregnancy. As we mentioned above, having multiples comes with several risks, including premature delivery and related health problems.
How does our team promote the success of SET?
When performing a single embryo transfer, our Dallas-Fort Worth fertility clinic team doesn’t just pick an embryo at random. Instead, our embryologists use a microscope to assess each embryo to determine which ones are of the highest quality. Some factors that they consider are the rate of development as well as the number and size of the cells in each embryo.
You can also order preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A) with your IVF cycle. This involves taking a safe biopsy of the outer layer of each embryo. Geneticists then examine each biopsy for evidence of chromosomal abnormalities. This information can help determine which embryos are high quality and chromosomally normal.
Our team also helps promote success with SET by selecting the right candidates for it. In some cases, such as in women aged 35 and over, it may make sense to transfer more than one embryo. Your fertility doctor will review your medical history and help you make this decision.
If you would like to learn more about SET and IVF, please contact us to schedule an appointment at our Dallas-Fort Worth fertility clinic.