Multiple IVF Implants Do Not Increase Chance of Pregnancy

A new study published in the Lancet reveals that IVF implantation of multiple embryos of three eggs or more gives women no greater likelihood of success than if only two embryos are used.

It is understandable that women undergoing IVF treatment will want to ensure that the process gives them the greatest possibility of becoming pregnant but it is not the case that if they have more embryos transferred it will improve their chances.

Women who carry more implanted embryos also increase the danger that they will all develop and result in a multiple birth.  These carry a greater likelihood of problems, such as miscarriage and dangers such as  blood pressure and diabetes problems. Babies born from these pregnancies have a greater risk of early delivery which in itself carry problems affecting normal childhood development.

Guidelines for IVF Treatment

The guidelines for IVF treatment vary in many countries as does the responsibility for payment.  The cost of the treatment is high and although in some countries the process will be funded the recommendation for the amount of embryos used is dependant on the age of the women being treated. For example, one is the restriction for women pre aged 37, two for those between 37 under 40 and a total of 3 in the post 40 age range. These numbers may be legally controlled.

The US however does not do much with regard to legal control or comprehensive guidance and there is concern that there has been an increase in the number of children born to IVF pregnancies.  Information recorded in 2009 evidenced that over 50 percent of IVF transfers involved two and more than 20 percent three embryos. Over 12 percent four to seven embryos yet less than 15 percent used one. The result has been more and more women delivering a number of live births from one pregnancy.

Cost of IVF

There have also been some high-profile cases of IVF treated mothers having up to eight babies following multiple embryo transfers. As IVF in the US has to be paid for by the patient and can cost up to $10,000 per treatment it may be that having more embryos implanted will help produce a successful outcome and therefore reduce the need for more expensive treatment.

[box type=”note”]The introduction of stricter controls will relieve the pressure on clinics and practitioners who feel pressured by patients with these beliefs.[/box]

[box type=”note”]The new study from the University of Bristol, looked at the results from 124,000, UK, IVF cycles in the years 2003 to 2007. The figures showed over 33,500 live births. Patients were between 18 and 50 with varied infertility records. Pre 40-year-old women having two embryos transplanted had a live birth rate of 33 percent.However this fell to 25 percent with 3 embryos.[/box]

Increased Risk with Multiple Pregnancies

The cause of this fall was not clear but as multiple pregnancies carry a greater risk it may be that the loss of one baby may put the others at risk of miscarriage.  In women post 40, the live birth outcome was 13 percent.  This figure remained the same when the numbers of embryos transplanted was two or three.

Claire Al-Aufi

Claire Al-Aufi is a contributing author for Hive Health Media who provides updates on health and fitness news.

One thought on “Multiple IVF Implants Do Not Increase Chance of Pregnancy

  • May 25, 2012 at 2:47 am

    I also agree with this that multiple IVF implants do not increases the chances of pregnancy. My daughter also had an IVF treatment and it was successful. The reason for that is she had taken an experienced surgeon for her treatment. So it is recommended for the women who need IVF treatment should take experienced surgeons for their treatment. It is better to take experienced doctor for IVF rather than number of IVF implants from normal and low budget clinics. 



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