Single embryo transfer: USA adopts policy to reduce multiple births

14th December 2017 in Treatments

This information was correct at the time of publishing. It may not reflect our current practices, prices or regulations.

Despite the news that the HFEA is set to lift its restrictions on the number of embryos which can be transferred, allowing UK clinics more freedom from strict multiple birth rate targets as a condition of their HFEA licence, in the USA more clinics are actually now adopting a Single Embryo Transfer (SET) policy in a bid to cut down on twin and triplet births.

Clinics in the USA are using various techniques to help reassure patients that transferring one embryo is the right choice, including allowing embryos to mature for longer in the laboratory, carrying out chromosome screening and freezing embryos to allow time for test results to be analysed, so only the best quality embryo is transferred.

Some patients have however been resistant to the change, and still view twins as ‘two for the price of one’ when it comes to their infertility treatment, despite the increased health risks associated with multiple births for both mother and babies.

At Manchester Fertility, we continue to follow a Single Embryo Transfer policy. In 2014, we will be investing in new screening technology, further advancing our techniques in selecting the embryos for transfer. We are currently analysing all available systems so that we select the equipment which gives all of our patients maximum benefit, ensuring that those who have embryos suitable for screening can use this new technology.

We also continue to offer free Blastocyst transfers if your embryos are suitable. A Blastocyst is an embryo which has been developed for longer in our laboratory before transfer, reaching a crucial cell-stage which gives us an indication of its viability.

We do not recommend SET if we don’t think you have a good chance of success from your IVF/ICSI cycle. Every patient we treat has very different circumstances and personal diagnosis, and so SET is not a ‘one size fits all’ policy.

If you have any questions about how we select embryos, and our Single Embryo Transfer policy, please contact us on 0161 300 2737or you can email us [email protected]


Last updated: 13th January 2020