More Women Opting for Single Embryo Transfers


A new report by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology has shown a shift in women's preferences for the number of embryos transferred.

The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) recently released its 2013 report on assisted reproductive technology in the United States. According to the report, 380 SART member clinics reported on 174,962 in vitro fertilization cycles in the United States in 2013, up from 165,172 cycles reported on in 2012. These cycles resulted in the birth of 63,286 babies, an increase of 1546 babies from 2012.

The most striking finding was that more women of all ages are opting for a single embryo transfer (SET). In the youngest age group, comprising of women younger than 35 years, nearly 23% chose an elective SET in 2013, compared with 14.8% in this age group in 2012.

Positive trends observed in previous years continued, with fewer embryos transferred per cycle in 2013 across all age categories, an increase in embryo implantation rates for all age categories and an overall decline in multiple births, reported SART. Despite an increase in both total IVF cycles performed and the total number of babies born as a result in 2013, the number of twin births resulting from IVF declined by 351, from 12,436 cycles in 2012 to 12,085 cycles in 2013. In addition, the number of triplet births declined by 35, from 411 in 2012 to 376 in 2013.

In this latest report, SART has introduced several new data fields that will offer a more detailed picture of the scope of ART treatment. For example, SART now reports on cycles using banked frozen donor eggs and donated embryos. In 2013, 227 cycles used frozen donor eggs, compared with 8921 fresh donor egg cycles. Also, there were 1201 cycles using donated embryos, according to the 2013 report.

“We are extremely encouraged to see the number of embryos transferred per cycle continue to go down and that more and more patients are choosing single embryo transfer. The goal of reducing the incidence of multiple pregnancies is extremely important and patients can see from the data that fewer embryos transferred do not mean a lower chance of pregnancy. We are also excited to provide patients with national data on banked donor eggs and donated embryos for the first time. The availability of these treatment options will only increase in the future as cryotechnology evolves and as awareness grows among potential embryo donors and recipients. It is important for patients to have the data on these options so they can consider them as possibilities in their own treatment plans,” said James Toner, MD, PhD, president of SART, in a press release.

He continued, “The hard work of our SART member clinics has resulted in a set of resources for the public of which we are very proud. These include the yearly National Summary Report, yearly individual clinic reports, and the SART Patient Predictor, an online tool utilizing more than a decades’ worth of data, which allows patients to receive a preliminary assessment of their prospects for success using IVF based on their own individual characteristics.”

The Clinic Summary Report is available here

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