Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Please do not waste your precious embryos

When the IVF cycle goes well and the clinic makes many embryos, patients are excited and want the doctor to transfer as many embryos as possible , so that they can get pregnant quickly . They understand that their chances of getting pregnant improve when they put more embryos back , but actually this is very short sighted .

For one thing , it dramatically increases their risk of having a multiple pregnancy , which gives short-term joy, but causes long-term distress, because many of these end up as preterm births, and many premature babies are often plagued with life-long problems ( such as retinopathy of prematurity, and cerebral palsy). Of course, the IVF doctor doesn’t care, because he can notch this pregnancy up as one of his successes, but want IVF patients want is a healthy baby – not just a pregnancy !

 Also remember that if you transfer all your fresh embryos back , you will not be able to freeze any. This means that if your cycle fails, you be left with any spare embryos, and will be back to square one , and will have to start a new fresh IVF cycle all over again . This is profitable for the IVF clinic, but very expensive and stressful for you.

 We tell our patients that each of your embryos is worth their weight in gold , and it makes much more sense to transfer just one embryo at a time , so that you can have multiple attempts at embryo transfers after doing a single egg collection.

The cumulative success rate is actually much better , because transferring frozen embryos is much easier , much less expensive , and much less stressful than starting a fresh cycle,

Remember that putting more embryos back does not increase the chances of a particular embryo implanting, which is why it makes much more sense to actually transfer your embryos over multiple cycles , rather than to dump them all back in a single cycle . If you get pregnant and end up with a multiple pregnancy , this is a bad outcome . And if you don't get pregnant , that's a bad outcome as well !

What you need to do to minimise your bad outcomes and increase your chances of having a good outcome is to freeze all your spare embryos , and transfer only a single embryo at a time


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