In Vitro Fertilization

pp 75-82


Moving Toward Single Embryo Transfer

  • Kevin S. RichterAffiliated withShady Grove Fertility Reproductive Science Center Email author 
  • , Robert J. StillmanAffiliated withShady Grove Fertility Reproductive Science Center
  • , Eric A. WidraAffiliated withShady Grove Fertility Reproductive Science Center

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Multiple births are the most serious complication associated with ART. Babies born as a result of multiple pregnancy are more likely to be premature, to suffer from long-term sequelae of prematurity, and to have an increased risk of birth defects. Multiple births are also associated with increased risks of maternal morbidity. Elective single embryo transfer (eSET) eradicates the risk of multiple pregnancy, except in rare cases of monozygotic twinning. However, the time, effort and cost of ART is high, making it important to determine which patients will be likely to conceive through eSET. Until scientific methods allow selection of the most viable (or developmentally competent) embryo in every cohort, efforts must continue to focus on identifying those good prognosis patients at highest risk of multiple gestation who would most benefit from eSET.