(HealthDay News) – Single embryo transfer (SET) guidelines developed by the Association of Clinical Embryologists (ACE) and the British Fertility Society (BFS) are associated with a significant reduction in the multiple pregnancy rate and increases in the live birth rate following in vitro fertilization treatment, according to a study being presented at Fertility 2013, held from Jan. 3–5 in Liverpool, U.K.
Sophie Jaques, from the Leicester Fertility Centre in the United Kingdom, and colleagues retrospectively evaluated the effects of mandatory SET on clinical pregnancy, live birth, and multiple pregnancy rates. Three embryo transfer periods were evaluated: period one from 2007–2008, pre-mandatory SET, where single and double embryo transfers were performed; period two in 2009, mandatory SET without use of the ACE/BFS algorithm; and period three from 2009–2010, mandatory SET with use of the ACE/BFS guidelines.
The SET rates were 10.7%, 100%, and 100%, respectively, for the three periods. The researchers found that for clinical pregnancy rates there were no significant differences between the periods (31.9%, 24.4%, and 29.3%, respectively), but in the second and third periods there were significant reductions in multiple pregnancy rates (24.9% vs. 3.3% and 1.1%, respectively). In the third period, the live birth rate was significantly improved (21.2%, 20%, and 26.5%, respectively).
“We are delighted to find that the positive changes our centre made towards implementing a single embryo transfer policy have resulted in real health benefits for our patients, dramatically reducing their risk of multiple pregnancy,” a coauthor said in a statement.