Our Goal of infertility Treatment: One Healthy Baby at a Time
Our mission is to help you have a healthy baby and grow your family one child at a time. The best way to accomplish this through IVF is to do elective single embryo transfer (eSET)
Michigan Reproductive Medicine is a leader in eSET, as shown by our elective single embryo transfer rates. Our high pregnancy rates in combination with high eSET rates give assurance that we have a world-class IVF laboratory along with the highest-level standards and care for our patients’ well-being. Below are charts showing the percentages of eSET performed at Michigan Reproductive Medicine using non-donor and donor eggs.
The greatest risks with assisted reproductive technologies of ovulation induction and IVF are related to preterm birth caused by multi-fetal pregnancy. When these risks become a reality, they are caused by pre-meditated human choice, not a random act of nature.
Elective Single Embryo Transfer (eSET) with IVF is the most effective remedy to prevent multi-fetal pregnancy-related risks to mothers and babies.
Why should you consider elective single embryo transfer?
Everyone likes a 2-for-1 sale. The decision whether to transfer 2 or more embryos in a single IVF cycle comes down to two factors: the disadvantage of increased medical risks to mothers and babies versus the advantage of speed and cost savings it may provide. A twenty-year public campaign by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) to reduce the number of embryos transferred in a single IVF cycle has led to a dramatic reduction in higher-order pregnancies, such as triplets and quadruplets. Unfortunately, there has since been a dramatic rise in the rate of twin pregnancies. This persistence in multiple pregnancy rates is due to a reluctance among patients and physicians to reduce the number of embryos transferred to ONE at a time.
Twin pregnancy is risky for babies and mother.
Risks to Babies
- Almost 3 out of 5 twin babies are born preterm– less than 37 weeks of pregnancy. This is 6 times greater risk than with single baby births.
- About 1 out of 4 twin babies are admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). This is more than 5 times greater than single baby births.
- About 7 out of 1000 twin babies have cerebral palsy—more than 4 times greater than single baby births.
- Greater risk of stillbirth, neonatal death, major birth defects and autism compared to single baby births.
Risks to Mothers
- Almost 1 out of 10 women carrying twins gets pregnancy-related high blood pressure (hypertension) which can lead to pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. This is 2 times greater than women carrying a single baby. Women with pre-existing hypertension are at even greater risk, which provides greater motivation for elective single embryo transfer.
- Almost 1 out of 20 women carrying twins gets gestational diabetes. This is 1.5 times greater than women carrying a single baby. Women with pre-existing diabetes mellitus types 1 or 2 and women with a greater probability of insulin resistance such as being overweight or having polycystic ovary syndrome are at even greater risk for developing gestational diabetes.
Source: CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
How Can Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy Induced Hypertension Lead to Preterm Delivery?
Danger to Babies
Hypertension and Diabetes are diseases, often intertwined, that damage blood vessels throughout the body. The placenta is made up of hormone producing cells and blood vessels. Damage to placenta blood vessels by these diseases in pregnancy leads to reduced supply of oxygen and nutrients to babies and reduces the removal of carbon dioxide and wastes from babies. The sick placenta, termed placental insufficiency, can slow the growth of babies, termed fetal growth restriction. At some time before the delivery due date and possible]y months before the due date, a critical point may come when the hospital incubator may provide better support for the baby’s growth and development than nature’s incubator, the placenta, prompting preterm delivery as necessary for the life of the baby.
Danger to Mothers
During pregnancy, these diseases can impair function of the mother’s major organs of heart, liver, kidneys and blood clotting systems to such an extent as to threaten the life of the mother and by way of the mother, her unborn babies. At some time before the delivery due date and possibly months before the due date, a critical point may come, prompting preterm delivery as a life saving intervention for the mother, placing her babies at risk.
A final word…
Our Michigan Reproductive Medicine team has observed that choosing to transfer one embryo, fresh or thawed, (followed by one thawed embryo, if a second transfer cycle is needed) provides the highest chance of having a baby without increasing the chance for twins and related risks. We encourage you to make an appointment and talk to our doctors about which embryo transfer option is right for you.