Multiple Births from IVF Going Down Due to Single Embryo Transfer

Multiple Births from IVF Going Down Due to Single Embryo TransferAccording to the HFEA (Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, the proportion of women giving births to multiples through IVF (in-vitro fertilization) treatment is going down. They said that these multiple pregnancies carry a higher chance of miscarriage as well as being the leading cause of premature births and babies born with cerebral palsy.

Statistics from the HFEA say that 23.6% of births from IVF were multiples at the beginning of 2008. However, by the middle of 2009, that number was down to 22%. According to the Multiple Births Foundation, this is “great news” because the births of twins, triplets and so forth present more health risks for both the babies and their mother.

So far, the reduction in the rate of multiple births is due to a technique that only implants one embryo into a woman per cycle instead of implanting more than one in hopes that just one will work.

“With full funding on the NHS – if patients could access three cycles – a lot more women would be willing and able to go for single embryo transfer”, said Susan Seenan of the Infertility Network UK. “Some women who are only getting one cycle feel they are limiting their chances of success” if they only transfer one embryo, especially if they can only afford one cycle.