April 8th, 2020

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Obligatory Versus Elective Single Embryo Transfer in in Vitro Fertilization: A Population-based Analysis of Data from the U.K. Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority
Authors:  Jennifer K. Straughen, Ph.D., Hamisu M. Salihu, M.D., Ph.D., Louis Keith, M.D., Ph.D., Jeffrey Petrozzino, M.D., Ph.D., and Christopher Jones, D.Phil.
  OBJECTIVE: To determine how obligatory single embryo transfer (SET) and elective SET influence pregnancy outcome.

STUDY DESIGN: We compared women who underwent obligatory and elective SET using data from a comprehensive, population-based register from the United Kingdom Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, which contained all in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments administered between 1991 and 1998. Generalized estimating equations were used to generate adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to compare clinical pregnancy, live birth, and multiple birth rates.

RESULTS: Obligatory and elective SET had similar clinical pregnancy and live birth rates and comparable multiple birth rates. Obligatory and elective SET were equally likely to end in a live birth (OR=1.08; 95% CI= 0.90, 1.30). Similar results were found after restricting the data to women without previous IVF births (OR= 1.18; 95% CI=0.98, 1.42) and without previous naturally conceived live births (OR=1.16; 95% CI=0.95, 1.43).

CONCLUSION: This study suggests that obligatory SET can achieve pregnancy and live birth rates that are at least as good as elective SET. Equally important is the low multiple birth rate which was maintained in both forms of SET. More studies comparing elective versus obligatory SET can assist with achieving optimal pregnancy rates while preventing multiple births.
Keywords:  embryo transfer, in vitro fertilization, multiple births, single embryo transfer
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