Answer from: Raúl Olivares, MD
The number of embryos to be transferred depends a lot on each individual case. It is not the same when you are transferring a good blastocyst to a young couple or when you are transferring good blastocysts coming from egg donation to a 43-year-old woman or where you are transferring a blastocyst created with their own eggs of a 44-year-old patient.
The main decision or the main things that we must bear in mind when we are deciding the number of embryos that we are going to transfer is the age of the woman, medical background, it could be different if it’s the first attempt or if they have been through 2 or 3 rounds of IVF and also the quality of the embryos and the number of embryos that you have.
Indeed, sometimes embryos that look great may not succeed, and embryos that don’t look so good may be successful, but if you have a lot of good quality embryos, we tend to be more conservative and transfer only one blastocyst especially, if the patient is young.
If we have 2 or 3 lovely blastocysts and the patient is 43, we know that the risk of these embryos having genetic issues because of the patient’s age is high. Then we may assume the risk of transferring 2, or even 3, so it’s a very individualized and personalized decision based on the different factors I’ve mentioned before.
What is the optimal number of embryos to transfer?
Does transferring 3 embryos increase chance of pregnancy? How many embryos should we transfer? Very often, patients assume that success rates will be higher when 2 or more embryos are transferred. The truth is that it has more to do with the embryo quality rather than the quantity.
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