A new study of fertility treatment found that women who get three or more embryos have no better odds of having a baby then those who get just two embryos. They have a greater chance of risky multiple births.
“Women who have gone through infertility treatment want the best chance of having a baby, but we need to explain that the data shows transferring more embryos doesn’t actually do that, ” said Scott Nelson, head of reproductive and maternal medicine at the University of Glasgow, who co-authored the study published in Thursday’s issue of Lancet.
In Western Europe, where some countries pay for in-vitro fertilization many authorities recommend a single embryo transfer for women under 37 and a maximum of two embryos for women 37 to 40. For women over 40, three is often the limit by law.
Us, which has relatively lax guidelines and a lack of regulation, has seen a rise in multiple births, including the case of Nadya Suleman, labeled the ‘octomom’. She had octuplets in 2009 after her doctor transferred 12 embryos.
For women under 40 who had two embryos, live birth rate was 33%. With three embryos, that dropped to 25%. Nelson said it might be due to higher risk of miscarriage in a multiple pregnancy and that miscarrying would jeopardize the entire pregnancy.