Monday, March 22, 2021

Why is your doctor transferring so many embryos at one time ?

Because I offer a second opinion to so many patients , I get a chance to review medical records from IVF clinics all over the country. It’s interesting to see what a large difference there is between good IVF clinics and bad IVF clinics . Many clinics routinely transfer 3 or 4 or even 5 embryos at one time , and patients are very happy that their doctor has made so many embryos for them, and put them back in, thus maximizing their chances of getting pregnant.

Actually, transferring so many embryos at one time is the hallmark of a bad clinic . This is a red flag , and suggests this is a poor quality clinic .

There is no reason why a clinic should have to transfer so many embryos in order to achieve a pregnancy . The fact that they need to do so suggests their embryo implantation rate ( pregnancy rate per transferred embryo) is poor . To compensate for this , they transfer many embryos at a time – they try to compensate for their poor quality by increasing the quantity.

Sadly, not only does this not work, it’s actually very dangerous exercise , and reduces the live-birth rates for these patients .

Sadly, patients don't seem to understand this .

For one thing, this strategy increases the risk to their baby. If they do get pregnant , there is a high chance that they may end up with a high-order multiple pregnancy . Now many patients seem to believe that having a twin pregnancy is a great outcome , but it’s not, because of the risk of prematurity . You may enjoy your pregnancy, but if your babies are born preterm, they may end up with lifelong medical complications as a result of their prematurity. If you have triplets , this risk is magnified even more, because we can’t control implantation . Your pregnancy may give you short-term joy, but your baby may end up giving you long-term sorrow, because of complications such as cerebral palsy or respiratory distress .

Also, remember that every embryo which the doctor transfers means that is not able to freeze that embryo. Which means if your cycle fails, you have no spare embryos to transfer, and are forced to start a fresh cycle all over again ! This strategy helps the doctor to make more money, but reduces your cumulative pregnancy rate per fresh IVF cycle !

Remember that every embryo is worth their weight in gold , and it makes much more sense to transfer just a single embryo at a time , rather than to bung them all back in together .

This is what global best practices are, and all good clinics worldwide transfer only a single top quality blast at one time , so that over a period of two or three cycles , your cumulative pregnancy rate rises, you don't run the risk of a multiple pregnancy


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