Single Embryo Transfer
Single embryo transfer is an effective means to reduce multiple pregnancies and overall healthcare costs, but that is little consolation to the growing number of patients who pay for it and don't become parents.
Single embryo transfer (sET) gained attention in the mid 2000's with claims that sET pregnancy outcomes were similar to multiple embryo transfers while greatly reducing healthcare costs and pregnancy risks. Health Canada has gone as far as to describe it a myth that there is much difference between the two as it relates to the chance of becoming pregnant.
"In the past, IVF patients have sometimes had to take risks and transfer multiple embryos to fix problems getting pregnant. But fertility treatments have improved greatly, so having one embryo transferred no longer means you’re less likely to be successful. For some women, transferring more than one embryo doesn't increase the chance of getting pregnant, but it does increase the risk of a multiple pregnancy. If you are a good candidate for SET, you will have a similar chance of success having one embryo transferred as you would if you transferred two."
Over the last couple of years we've kept a close eye on IVF.ca Cyclebase and the results of sET vs dET. Cyclebase is a member-driven IVF cycle database. Members electively report positive and negative cycle outcomes along with various cycle factors, including the number of embryos transferred.
Based on women of all ages reporting non-cryopreserved cycles (fresh IVF cycles) resulting in ultrasound confirmed pregnancies IVF.ca Cyclebase expresses a sET (single embryo) success rate of 26% and dET (double embryo) success rate of 41% (to October 2013).
This range of success variation is similar to findings of other studies.
Released in 2013 “Guidelines on the Number of Embryos Transferred” by the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society reported controlled sET studies. One study documented live birth rates from transfers at the embryo cleavage stage at 26% for SET (single embryo) and 42% for DET (double embryo) - for women under age 35.
Another study, the lowest of all reported trials, used a more diverse embryo-quality group that resulted in a 50% success rate variation for ongoing pregnancies; 21% for sET and 42% for dET.
http://www.cfas.ca/i...ansfer_2013.pdf (PDF File)