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The Truth About Single Embryo Transfer vs. Double Embryo Transfer

Double Embryo (DET) vs Single Embryo Transfers (SET)

For many intended parents, the choice to transfer two embryos, as opposed to one, seems obvious. Not only would it seem that doing this doubles your chances at achieving pregnancy, it also seems that having two children at once would complete your family in a more expedient way that also offers more value for your dollar.

While the ultimate decision will be between your doctor, your surrogate, and yourself, we wanted to talk a moment to bust a few common myths surrounding double embryo transfers.

Increased Likelihood at Achieving Pregnancy?

It only makes sense, right? Two embryos have twice the odds of achieving pregnancy as one does, right?

Turns out, this is a myth.

Recent studies have shown that your chances of achieving a single gestation (one baby) pregnancy are almost identical when using a single embryo transfer as it is when using a double embryo transfer. Here’s the full story

Researchers at Duke and Colorado Universities studied some 30,000 IVF patients between 2012- 2014. What they found was that, yes, a multiple embryo transfer did result in a higher likelihood of multiple gestation pregnancies. However, there was almost no difference in the occurrence of single gestation pregnancy between the groups that opted for a single embryo transfer vs. a double or multiple embryo transfer.

So, in short, you don’t need to transfer multiple embryos in order to increase your odds of achieving pregnancy.

Big Cost Savings By Transferring Two Embryos at Once?

The next myth is that purposefully trying for a multiple gestation pregnancy is an overall cost savings.

While there may be some level of financial savings that cannot be disputed, we want to outline that this does come with a cost. Multiple gestation pregnancies are almost always high risk by nature. The risk of complications like preterm delivery, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia go up considerably for a multiple gestation pregnancy. You also run a substantially higher risk of having your newborns need to spend time in the NICU when they are born as a result of a multi-gestation pregnancy.

All of these things are unexpected costs that can add up quickly and could result in an experience that is more costly and more stressful than completed two single gestation pregnancies.

The Bottom Line about DET vs. SET

In the end, your family building choices are yours alone. We will do our best to empower you to make the choices that are best for your family, but it’s important to focus on what the big picture goal is, and the safest way to achieve it.

Read more about the surrogacy process, including a timeline and estimated costs and expenses.

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Eloise Drane
Eloise Drane, Founder

"I believe that we are all placed on this earth for a purpose. Each one of us has a specific calling in this world and although it is different for everyone, we are here to serve one another. My purpose is to help women who wish to become surrogates and egg donors and the hopeful parents who wish to partner with them. I feel very lucky to be living my purpose."