In the early days of IVF it was common practice to transfer multiple embryos with the belief that this would lead to higher success rates. However, over time many fertility experts now recognise that the transfer of a single embryo can result in high success rates while minimising the risks associated with multiple births.
At Ballarat IVF we have moved towards single embryo transfers for the majority of our patients. This has led to greatly reduced multiple pregnancies while maintaining high pregnancy rates.
Over the years, we have witnessed a steady decline in multiple pregnancy rates from 23% in 2006 to 0% in 2018 for Fresh Embryo transfers. This has been achieved by reducing the number of double embryo transfers. In the under 38 years group, this has dropped from 50% in 2006 down to 5% in 2018 (as shown in the graph). Similar trends have been seen across all age groups and within both Fresh and Frozen embryo transfers.
At the same time we have seen an increase in pregnancy success rates with a confirmed fetal heart in 38% of our fresh cycles and 46% for Frozen Embryo transfers in 2018. These success rates have been achieved by ideal embryo culture conditions, careful embryo selection and preparation of the uterine lining for implantation.
Figure 1. Fetal heart pregnancies per fresh embryo transfer versus percentage of double embryo transfers for patients less than 38 years from 2006 to 2018 at Ballarat IVF.