Single, 2 or 3-embryo transfer with donor eggs?

  1.  Lidia Strange


    I’m 44 and undergoing egg donation, with the embryo transfer this month. I’m looking for advice or feedback on how many embryos should I transfer with donor eggs. One? Two? Three? I’m already aware of the fact that there are no rules about the outcomes… My clinic also told me that chances of multiple births are 30-40% approximately if two eggs are transferred instead of a single embryo.

    To be honest, I’m scared of having twins.

    Any advice? Thanks!

    February 13, 2016 at 9:38 am
    #8567 Reply
  2. Sandra F. Sandra F.
    inviTRA's Moderator

    Dear Lidia,

    thank you very much for getting involved. When it comes to determine the amount of embryos to transfer in an IVF cycle, taking such a decision required a careful discussion between the patient or couple and the doctor or medical staff involved. Nonetheless, you should keep in mind that the purpose of every fertility treatment is the delivery of a healthy, full-term, singleton child.

    Keeping this in mind, even though transferring more than a single embryo might increase the chances of getting pregnant, it should be clear that at the same time it increases the multiple births rate. European countries like Spain have erased this discussion by establishing the amount of embryos to transfer by law—in Spain, no more than 3 embryos can be transferred—, while others only approve single-embryo transfer. However, this measure has not yet received widespread approval within the USA.

    Among the disadvantages of a single-embryo transfer, we can mention that it is true that it leads to a diminished IVF success rate in fresh cycles. But those who are in favor of 1-embryo transfer consider this an advantage, as it helps reducing the twin pregnancy rate. As you may know, twin pregnancies carry a wide range of risks, such as higher rates of preterm labor, for instance.

    In the USA, however, some couples desire twins. Usually, patients wishing to have twins are those who are paying for the treatment themselves, instead of having it covered by insurance. It is a common belief that works more or less this way: “Two for the price of one”. As I said earlier, by having a twin pregnancy you will be putting the health of your baby-to-be at risk due to the high risk of having a preterm labor or delivery.

    In spite of that, it is true that the common trend is to perform a single-embryo transfer in the majority of the cases. Besides, with the recent embryo cryopreservation technique, in which the quality of the frozen-thawed embryos remains almost equal to that of fresh embryos, there is no need to undergo a 2-embryo transfer when you can safely have a frozen-thawed embryo transfer can be done.

    The following article may be of interest: Betting on a single embryo transfer.

    I hope I have been able to help,


    February 22, 2016 at 4:04 pm
    #8568 Reply
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