Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First study to show IVF single embryo transfer is just as successful as double transfer in older women – and safer

01.06.2006


Research by fertility experts in Finland has demonstrated for the first time that in many cases transferring a single embryo to the womb in women undergoing IVF is just as likely to result in pregnancy and a live birth in those aged 36 to 39 as it is in younger women.

Their study indicates that it is the quality of the embryo that is more important in determining the success of IVF rather than the age of the woman. This is a finding that could encourage wider acceptance of single embryo transfer in women in their late 30s – an age group that up to now in most countries has been thought to benefit from having two embryos transferred at any one time, despite the risk of multiple births.

The research, published today (Thursday 1 June) in Human Reproduction[1], analysed 1,224 fresh IVF/ICSI[2] cycles and 828 frozen embryo transfers in women aged 36-39. They [c]ompared results in the case of elective single embryo transfer (eSET) with a top quality embryo, elective single embryo transfer with a non-top quality embryo, compulsory single embryo transfer (because there was only one embryo available) and double embryo transfer (DET). They also analysed the cumulative results i.e. the results for women who underwent more than one cycle of treatment using fresh and frozen embryos.



Senior author Dr Hannu Martikainen from the University of Oulu, said: “What we demonstrated for the first time was that the pregnancy rate, and in particular, the cumulative pregnancy rate, was very similar in the age group 36 to 39 to that obtained previously in younger women. This suggests that embryo quality is the most important parameter in the outcome and that selection for elective single embryo transfer should be based on embryo quality rather than the age of the woman. Of course, it is not rational to use SET in all cases and double embryo transfer is still appropriate in certain circumstances. In the age group 36-39 we nowadays use SET in about 40% of cases (and in about 60% in younger women). “As a result of this a multiple pregnancy rate of less than 10% has been achieved.”

Dr Martikainen, who is Chief Physician in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, said that in the 36-39 age group a third of the women achieved pregnancy after a cycle of eSET, compared to around 31 to 35% in previous studies of eSET in younger women. The live birth rate was also similar at 26% compared to between 27 and 30%. The cumulative pregnancy rate among 36 to 39-year-olds achieved after additionally using frozen embryo transfer was 54% with a live birth rate of over 40%.

“We have achieved even higher rates of up to 60 to 70% in young women, but even so, the rate for older women is very satisfactory.”

Another important finding was that the pregnancy rate and live birth rate using fresh embryo transfer was very similar between the eSET and DET group and when the cumulative rate, using frozen embryos, was analysed the eSET results were actually better, with a pregnancy rate of nearly 55% and live birth rate of over 40% in the women having eSET compared to a pregnancy rate of 35% and live birth rate of nearly 27% among the women having DET. There was a multiple birth rate among the eSET group of less than 2% compared with nearly 17% in the DET group.

“This tells us that as well as eSET having the potential to be as successful in women up to 40 as it is in younger women, it also reduces the risk of multiple births compared with DET and therefore increases the safety of assisted reproduction in this age group,” said Dr Martikainen.

He added that their data also indicated that eSET is cost effective when the costs of twin pregnancies are taken in to account. “More effective use of frozen embryos would cut the average cost per live birth in the future and also means the number of cycles of ovarian stimulation may decrease.”

Countries who routinely use eSET (unless there are contraindications) are limited to Finland, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands, with Sweden having legislation that allows transfer of two embryos only in special cases. The policy in most countries is to transfer two embryos in women aged over 36.

Dr Martikainen expects those countries committed to single embryo transfer to extend it to older women as they gain more experience with SET, as is happening in Finland. The trend may even expand to include women over 40 in the future, with studies planned for this age group.

[1] Elective single-embryo transfer in women aged 36-39 years. Human Reproduction. doi:10.1093/humrep/del137.

[2] IVF – in-vitro fertilisation. ICSI – intracytoplasmic sperm injection: process by which an ooctye is fertilised by injecting a single sperm into the ooctye.

Margaret Willson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.oxfordjournals.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>