Cumulative impact of adding frozen-thawed cycles to single versus double fresh embryo transfers

Kersti Lundin, Christina Bergh
Reproductive Biomedicine Online 2007, 15 (1): 76-82
Randomized control trials have shown that single embryo transfer (SET) results in lower live birth rates than double embryo transfer (DET), while observational, retrospective studies find no decrease in overall live birth rate when using a SET policy. The cumulative (fresh transfer followed by frozen - thawed transfers of embryos from the same stimulated cycle) live birth rate after the first and the second stimulated cycle of SET and DET respectively has been analysed. All couples who received their first fresh embryo transfer at Sahlgrenska University Hospital during 2003 and 2004 were included (n = 689). The live birth rates after DET versus SET in the first and second fresh cycles were 29.7 (47/158) versus 23.9% (127/531) and 30.8 (41/133) versus 22.0% (45/205). The cumulative live birth rate per patient after the addition of frozen-thawed embryo transfers were similar: 33.5 (53/158) and 34.8% (185/531) for DET and SET respectively after the first cycle and 32.3 (43/133) versus 32.2% (66/205) after the second cycle. A logistic regression analysis showed no significant correlation for SET or DET with cumulative live birth. Thus, cumulative live birth rates are similar after SET and DET in a routine IVF programme with a majority of SET transfers, although a higher number of frozen-thawed cycles were needed in the SET group.

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