PFC Researchers To Present Findings at PCRS Annual Meeting Data Show Superior Outcomes with Single Embryo Transfers
Providing new data on the hazards of transferring two or more embryos after IVF, researchers at Pacific Fertility Center (PFC) report that transferring two or more embryos results in a high rate of multiple gestation with a significant increase in the risk of preterm delivery.
PFC physician and lead author Liyun Li, MD, will present the research findings on today at 6:00 pm at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society (PCRS) in Rancho Mirage, CA. The abstract is entitled “Supernumerary Frozen Blastocyst Transfers Result in Unacceptable Rates of Multiple Gestation and Preterm Delivery.” Also presenting the paper are PFC physicians Carolyn Givens, MD, and senior author Philip Chenette, MD.
In the study, researchers reviewed records of frozen transfer cycles from 2012 to 2014, comparing the number of embryos transferred with the resulting number of fetuses and gestational ages at delivery. A total of 593 babies were born from 540 frozen transfers. Of these, 81.3 percent were from single embryo transfers, 16.5 percent were from double embryo transfers, and 2.2 percent involved transfers of more than two embryos.
From these transfers, 86.1 percent developed into singleton pregnancies, 13.0 percent were twins, 1 percent were triplets or more. On average, singletons delivered at 39.1 weeks, whereas twins delivered at 36.7 weeks and triplets even earlier.
According to the study authors, transfer of multiple embryos produces unacceptable—and unnecessary—higher rates of preterm births. Thanks to the ability to identify high-quality embryos with comprehensive chromosome screening, success rates with single embryo transfers have continued to improve. Implantation rates are as high as 60 to 70 percent. “In addition,” said senior author, Philip Chenette, MD, “freezing technology called vitrification has allowed patients to store extra embryos for future use and not feel compelled to transfer them all at once.”
Despite these positive trends, the practice of transferring multiple embryos has persisted, according to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). Resulting multiple gestation can lead to a wide range of problems in the short term and down the road, including decreased performance in school, said Dr. Chenette, adding that it was time for the fertility world to be more upfront about the risks and complications associated with multiple gestation.
“Data from this study should reassure patients that they can get a much better outcome with single embryo transfers,” said Dr. Chenette, “which allows them to build families, one healthy baby at a time.”
About Pacific Fertility Center
Pacific Fertility Center is an international destination for male and female fertility treatment and care. It provides an extensive array of fertility treatment options ranging from intrauterine insemination (IUI), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) to cutting-edge technology such as vitrification and genetic testing of embryos. For more information: www.pacificfertilitycenter.com.
Renee H. Scudder, MS
Pacific Fertility Center
55 Francisco Street, Fifth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94133