Single Embryo Transfer Policy

Our goal in the WRAMC IVF program is for you to have a healthy singleton baby. We go to great efforts to try and maximize your chances of this outcome.

Multiples are not considered a success. There is a many fold increased risk for both the babies and mother with multiples of any number. Although most twins do fine, the risks are higher than that of two singleton pregnancies combined.

Our rate of twins in this program has historically been about 35%. Due to recent advances in the care we provide, both pregnancy and multiple rates have increased. In response to this we are further decreasing the maximum number of embryos we can transfer.

Specifically in the group of patients with the highest chance of success, we will transfer 1 embryo. This is due to the fact that transferring two embryos in these patients actually decreases the chance of an ideal outcome (singleton birth).

We individualize all of our care, and take into account your wishes and preferences. However, based on the medical data there are limits to what we can safely and ethically do. Patients that meet ALL of the following criteria will only be offered a single embryo transfer:

  1. Age less than 38 (37 and younger) and
  2. First cycle of IVF and
  3. At least one fully developed blastocyst if transferring on day 5.

Recent data from our clinic has shown pregnancy rates for this group in excess of 60%. For other patients we may be strongly recommending, but not requiring, a single embryo transfer; and it will be only in very limited circumstances that we transfer more than 2 embryos.

The goal of this policy is to maintain our high pregnancy rates while maximizing safety for you and your children. We look forward to working with you and helping you to realize your dream.

Mark Payson, MD
Director Assisted Reproductive Technologies
Walter Reed Army Medical Center

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