It's more effective and less costly to implant single embryos instead of two embryos at a time, says a study that challenges the belief that implanting multiple embryos during in-vitro fertilization (IVF) improves a woman's chances of becoming pregnant and is more cost-effective.
Finnish researchers looked at more than 1,500 women who went through more than 3,600 assisted reproduction cycles. They found the live birth rate was 5 percent higher for women who had a single embryo implanted at a time, compared to double embryo transplants, Agence France Presse reported.
The single embryo method was also less costly, especially when the researchers factored in health complications due to multiple pregnancies.
The study was published in the journal Human Reproduction.
"At a time when there is an intense debate in many countries about how to reduce multiple pregnancy rates and provide affordable fertility treatment, policy makers should be made aware of our results," study lead researcher Hannu Martikainen, of the University of Oulu, said in a news release, AFP reported.
"These data should also encourage clinics to evaluate their embryo transfer policy and adopt elective single embryo transfer as their everyday practice for women younger than 40," Martikainen said.