Thursday, December 19, 2013

Healthy Habits: IVF and Single Embryo Transfers

Fertility patients who want to get pregnant as soon as possible often opt for implantation of multiple embryos during an IVF cycle. However, leading physicians say that given the health risks of twins, implanting a single embryo offers the best chance of conceiving a healthy baby.

New Hope Fertility Center, a world-renowned clinic based in New York, has performed elective single embryo transfers as standard practice since 2005. This is to reduce the rate of multiple births and the associated health problems, like preterm labor. And many other fertility centers are now following their lead.

According to Dr. John Zhang, an IVF expert and pioneer in fertility treatments, this approach offers the best chance for successful pregnancies and healthy babies.

“Our goal is not just to get the patient pregnant, but to have a healthy live birth. Multiple embryo transfers increase the rate of twins – and associated complications such as preterm birth. We have to consider the strain this puts on the baby, mother and even the healthcare system.

“We have seen many of our patients conceive and deliver healthy, full-term babies from single embryo transfers. And we are pleased that other centers are following in our footsteps and making this a standard practice.”

Dr. Zhang also stresses that physicians must practice responsibly and counsel their patients on all the potential risks of any fertility treatment. That way, would-be parents can make a fully informed decision.

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