Know More About Single Embryo Transfer During IVF

by | June 27, 2021, 0:00 IST

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Do you fear multiple pregnancies when undergoing IVF? Here’s what you need to know on how to avoid that by having a single embryo transfer. Dr Aindri Sanyal, Fertility Consultant at Nova IVF Fertility, Kolkata answers questions about this.


What Are Multiple Pregnancies?

Multiple pregnancies happen when a woman is carrying more than one baby at a time. If she is carrying two babies, they are called twins, and three babies during one pregnancy are called triplets. There are cases where women have carried more than three babies at one time (high-order multiples) and that involves more health risks for the mother and the babies.


How Do Multiple Pregnancies Happen?

There are two main ways in which multiple pregnancies can occur. One is when a single fertilised egg (ovum) splits before it gets implanted into the uterine lining. The other being two or more separate eggs are fertilised by different sperm at a similar time.


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What Increases The Chance Of Multiple Pregnancies?

Many factors can raise the risk of multiple pregnancies, including:

  • One of the factors for multiple pregnancies is genetic. The possibility of multiple pregnancies if someone is multiple themself (twins or triplets), or if multiples run in the family. These are some heredity traits that are generally passed down through the maternal side of the family.
  • Another reason could be the use of fertility drugs. Infertility treatments can raise the risk of multiple pregnancies because procedures like in vitro fertilisation (IVF) involve transferring fertilised egg in the womb.


What Complications Are Linked To Multiple Births That Cause Fear?

Premature labour and birth: A most common complication of multiple births is premature labour. It is often seen that babies born prematurely are at risk of other complications of multiple births like low birth weight.

Placental abruption: This happens when the placenta is removed from the wall of the uterus before delivery, and this is usually an emergency especially common in women who are carrying multiple babies.

Gestational diabetes: Women can develop diabetes during their pregnancy due to the increased number of hormones from the placenta and if someone has two placentas, there is increased insulin resistance.


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What Is An Elective Single-Embryo Transfer (eSET) And Who Suitable For eSET?

Elective SET is a procedure of selecting and transferring a single good-quality embryo from the available embryos in the blastocyst stage. Fertility experts say some limitations and requisites need to be considered during eSET and it should be obtainable to women who can receive a single embryo as an alternative to multiple embryos. The embryo selected through the eSET could be either a frozen embryo or from the current fresh IVF cycle that produced more than a single embryo. The left-over embryos can be kept for future use though, and they can be preserved via cryopreservation. This way, women can avoid risks known to be associated with giving birth to twins or triplets or multiple births.


Why Is Choosing The Right Embryo-Single Embryo Transfer Is A Safe Option?

Fertility treatments can be complicated, which can be very overwhelming for to be mothers. After ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval and fertilisation, the remaining will be the final stage of IVF treatment where embryo transfer will be one of the key determinants of an effective pregnancy. Sometimes, patients have multiple viable embryos, and they end up injecting multiple embryos, to increase the chances of conceiving. However, this might complicate the entire process, involving multiple pregnancies. This situation comes with criticalities like second-trimester miscarriage, preterm delivery, high blood pressures during pregnancy, low birth weight. Hence, couples are recommended to limit the number of embryos transferred through elective single-embryo transfer (eSET) to ensure a healthy pregnancy without and complications of multiple pregnancies.


Also Read: Misconceptions About IVF That You Need To Stop Believing In

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