There is a saying that it is not wise to put all one’s eggs in the same basket. Perhaps the same might be true for embryos.

A recent article in U.S. News and World Report explains that women undergoing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) may have a higher rate of full term pregnancy when transferring one embryo at a time – as opposed to multiple embryo transfers. Among the advantages of a single embryo transfer are notably higher percentages of full term pregnancies and a lower risk of low birth weights.

According to an analysis of nearly 1,400 embryo transfers by researchers at the University of Aberdeen, women in the study who had a single embryo transferred were five times more likely to give birth to a single healthy baby. Additionally the study showed that single embryo transfer pregnancies are significantly more likely to carry a pregnancy to a full 37 weeks.

Evidence in the study does show that women having a double embryo transfer have a higher rate of pregnancy, 42%, compared to a 27% percent pregnancy rate.  When a woman underwent a second single embryo transfer during the study, their pregnancy rate jumped to 38%.

 “Our review should be useful in informing decision-making regarding the number of embryos to transfer in IVF,” Aberdeen researchers said in the U.S. News and World Report article, adding that these findings could help to shape practical guidelines for would-be mothers and doctors.

The study could have significant impact when it comes to Embryo Donation and Adoption, a relatively new form of adoption in which families adopt frozen embryos. The end goal of embryo donation and adoption is for adoptive families to give birth to their adopted child.

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