Fertility Blog

PFC Staff to Present Abstract on Single Embryo Transfer (SET) at ASRM's 2014 Annual Meeting

Staff at Pacific Fertility Center (PFC) have been invited to present an abstract on elective Single Embryo Transfer (eSET) at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) in Honolulu on October 14, 2014. eSET is the practice of transferring a single embryo after in vitro fertilization, thereby reducing the risk of multiple births and potential complications.

Toward a program of single embryo transfer: Reducing multiple gestation risk using CCS” is the title of the abstract co-authored by Philip Chenette, MD, Isabelle Ryan, MD, Carolyn Givens, MD, Erin Fisher, MS, and Joe Conaghan, PhD—all staff at PFC.

Multiple gestation was a consequence of older methods of fertility treatment, with fertility medications and the transfer of multiple embryos after IVF increasing the risk of twins and triplets, and occasionally quadruplets or more. National guidelines permit the transfer of up to 5 embryos after IVF, depending on patient age and prognosis. The risks to mother and baby associated with multiple gestation are unpredictable and can be severe.

No longer is it necessary to transfer multiple embryos to secure good pregnancy rates. Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS) allows selection of a single embryo with a very high probability of pregnancy. Extra embryos are stored for future use. One at a time, transferring a healthy single embryo after IVF maintains high pregnancy rates while minimizing the risk of multiple gestation.

In the study, the researchers analyzed 1,034 frozen embryo transfers (FETs) from 2012 and 2013. Without CCS, the pregnancy rate was 52 percent with an average of 1.35 embryos transferred. With CCS, the average number of embryos transferred declined, yet the pregnancy rate pre transfer was significantly higher. Multiple gestation risk declined by over 40% after CCS. Given these benefits, over the study period, the use of CCS increased by 260%.

“Comprehensive chromosome screening allows us to identify the highest quality embryos,” said Dr. Chenette. “A single embryo can be transferred, while maintaining excellent pregnancy rates.”

Dr. Chenette is director of PFC’s Fertility Preservation Program. Dr. Ryan is medical director of the Pacific Fertility Egg Bank. Dr. Givens directs PFC’s Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis and Pre-implantation Genetic Screening (PGD/PGS) Program. Ms. Fischer is a PFC embryologist and Dr. Conaghan is PFC’s laboratory director.

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