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One vs. two embryo IVF transfer?

Forum: Trying to Conceive with Medical Assistance


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March 28th, 2011, 12:24 PM
aogilvie's Avatar Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 601
Hey ladies,

Has anyone heard from their REs that transferring one embryo in general (for first IVF attempt/previous success and woman under age of 35) is equally successful as a two embryo transfer? I've had a few docs say it to me and I've read some studies online, all indicating an equivolent success rate and less potential for complications with the mom and baby(ies) (twin vs. singleton pregnancies).

The reason I ask is because with my previous medical history, my RE would prefer that I only have one embryo transferred. Of course, I have my feelings about this... that I REALLY WANT THIS TO WORK and that two has got to be better than one, right? But after reading a bit, I'm not so sure anymore.

Should I just go with the doc and transfer one or push for two (which he will do if I request it)?

Just thought I would get you ladies thoughts on this. Thanks.
Ana-31 DH-32
TTC #1 with Endometriosis & Antiphospholipid Syndrome since December 2008
Dec 2008 - April 2010 #17 Natural cycles
May 2010 - IUI + clomid 50mg BFN
June 2010 - IUI + clomid 50mg BFN
July 2010 - IUI + clomid 100mg BFN
Sept/OC 2010 - IVF #1 (1 embryo transfered; none to freeze) BFP!!!
Oct 25 2010 - First ultrasound at 6.5 weeks TWO HEARTBEATS!!! The embryo split; we're having identical twins!!!
Nov 30 2010 - Ultrasound at 11 weeks; no heartbeats & no growth past 9 weeks
Dec 2 - D&C#1
Dec 7 2010 - D&C#2
Dec 22 2010 through current - Weekly acupuncture treatment
May/June 2011 - IVF#2 with acupuncture (1 embryo transferred; 4 embies on ice!!!) BFP!!!
June 29 2011 - First ultrasound at 7.0 weeks. Everything looks great so far!

July 18, 2011 - Second ultrasound at 9.5 weeks. Baby is doing great!

Feb 10 2012 - Molly Eileen arrived at 7lbs 11oz and 19inches!!!
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March 28th, 2011, 01:19 PM
LindseyandJoeinAL's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,615
If I was paying out of pocket, I would definitely transfer two.

If I had good insurance coverage, past success and was under 30, I would feel good about one.

I truly think this is a personal decision and there is no right or wrong answer. I had great insurance coverage, but was 35 and had two transferred. I'm now pregnant with one baby. Good luck with whatever decision you make!
Lindsey - 38
Joe - 46
TTC baby #2

lap surgery Apr 2010 stage 2 endo removed
IVF #1 BFN 11/2010
IVF #2 BFP! 12/2010
Wonderful, sweet daughter Khloe born August 2011
FET #1 - Oct 2012 BFN
FET #2 - Dec 2012 BFN
2nd lap surgery Dec 2012 stage 1 endo removed
IUI Apr 2013 cancelled due to producing 10 mature follicles
IUI June 2013 BFN
IVF #3 Sept 2013 BFN
IVF #4 Nov 2013 BFP! on 8dp3dt
Expecting boy/girl twins 8/1/14

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March 28th, 2011, 01:33 PM
Jacquie's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 8,973
I noticed in your siggy that you didn't have left to freeze last time...so this time if they only transferred one and you did have at least one more, that would mean you could try FET if the first didn't work out, right? Because you got pregnant with just the one last time and you're well under 35, I think I would be comfortable with the Dr's recommendation to only transfer one. Good luck and let us know what you decide!
TTC #1:
5/28/05: miscarriage
08/30/05: miscarriage
01/15/05: misdiagnosed with PCOS
08/29/06: first appt at fertility clinic (was already pregnant with dd and didn't know it)
05/16/07: DD was born

TTC #2:
11/13/09: let's try again!
03/10/10: tests with new OB - everything totally normal for DH and I, no indication of pcos; officially diagnosed with "Unexplained Infertility"
04/21/10 - 10/13/10: 7 unsuccessful rounds of clomid with OB
11/13/10 - 14/23/11: 3 unsuccessful IUI's with clomid at fertility clinic
07/27/11: ER for IVF - retrieved 27; 17 were mature enough to fertilize; all 17 fertilized; 11 made it to day 3 embryos; 6 made it to day 6 blasts. Transferred 1, froze 5.
08/08/11: positive hpt!
08/13/11 - 08/20/11: positive blood test (186), but cramping and bleeding. 2 days later, blood at 275; 2 days later, blood at 21. Inevitable miscarriage.
10/13/11: start suprefact for first FET
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March 28th, 2011, 02:01 PM
KMH KMH is offline
TTCMA Cheer Captain
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: right of center
Posts: 19,318
Yes, many REs now prefer single embryo transfers for young, healthy patients, and the results are excellent. I did a LOT of research about it before our IVF.

Here are some threads from past discussions:


DH and I wanted a single embryo transfer. Logically, it made the most sense for us. Here is my blog post about it that I wrote before our IVF cycle:

Multiple Frustrations
Without a doubt, the most common thing we hear after telling people we are going through fertility treatments is "Oh my gosh, I bet you'll have twins!" or something similar. A lot of people assume that we actually prefer twins, and that this is a benefit of being infertile.

On the surface, that sounds like a great idea. Two For One! We probably wouldn't do any more fertility treatments after that...two kids makes a complete family as far as most people are concerned. Only one pregnancy, one labor, and twice the baby love.

On my emotional days, I even feel like we deserve twins. After all we have gone through and all the money we have spent, don't we deserve something special? I don't want just another run-of-the-mill pregnancy...my reward for surviving all of this should be something that not everyone else gets. Our friends that got pregnant right when we started trying are already having their 2nd kid, so this would catch us up!

Realistically and logically, though, neither of us want twins. Not that we wouldn't feel blessed if we had them, but we are definitely doing everything possible to just have a singleton pregnancy.

Just the financial considerations alone are huge. 2 carseats, 2 cribs, 2 mattresses, double stroller, 2 times the clothes, diapers, food, etc...the costs would add up fast. After spending so much just to get pregnant, we would have a hard time with all of that.

I have been planning a natural childbirth...no drugs, no IV, no epi, no nothing. I know that anything can happen, but twins would guarantee a c-section at our local hospital. There isn't a doctor for 90 miles that will let a woman try to birth twins vaginally. That really isn't what I want at all.

The statistics regarding twins are staggering: 60% of them are born premature; parents of multiples are 3 times as likely to divorce; moms of multiples are 2 times as likely to experience post-partum depression. How awful!

Mostly, I'm concerned for the health and safety of my future children. I don't want to have twins only to have them shipped off to the NICU (closest one is over 100 miles away). I don't want them to have to fight for their lives just because I was greedy and wanted twins.

I plan to breastfeed exclusively, which with twins might be really tough if not impossible.

Twins would definitely increase my risk of having to go on bed rest...which I don't think I would be very good at.

Most importantly, I don't want to be half the Mother to twice the babies. I have spent years waiting to me a Mother, and I want to be great at it. I am ready to give 100% of myself to a baby, but you just can't do that with twins.


I don't judge other people for their decisions (okay, I try not to)...for some families twins might be a good option, or even a preferable one. For us, though, one is a-okay. We don't want to be greedy, we don't need to make up time...we just need one healthy little baby.
In the end, the fear of failure outweighed the fear of twins, and we transferred two embryos.

It is SUCH a personal decision, and only you and DH can make this decision for your family. Good luck...this is tough stuff!

Melissa & DH
IVF babies Claire (5), Abigail (3) and George (3)

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March 28th, 2011, 03:08 PM
Lash's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: North Texas
Posts: 17,716
^ Agree with much of above, and my old RE even offered a special incentive plan to only transfer one embie, in which all others were frozen free to entice you to only do one at a time. He really felt that one was as equal to two in most cases, and the stats seem to agree.
"I will make it through this because it is for her and for her, I will do anything. I am not brave, I am not strong, I am just Rhiannon’s mom". Our TTC/Adoption/Pregnancy Blog: Jump Over The Rainbow

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March 28th, 2011, 03:50 PM
KDD's Avatar
KDD KDD is offline
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 16,068
My RE's office really pushes for a single transfer, depending on embryo quality. With me they gave us the option to transfer 3.
Missing our Angel since April 11, 2008
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