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Why should you only transfer one embryo when using a surrogate?

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2023 | Egg & Sperm Donation, Surrogacy Law |

Residents of California who have fertility struggles often turn to gestational carriers so they can have children. This involves the use of embryos created through the couples’ egg and sperm or a combination of an intended parent’s egg or sperm and those from a donor. Once the surrogate undergoes in vitro fertilization (IVF), a single embryo transfer is best; this is why.

Benefits of a single embryo transfer

Surrogacy is one of the best ways to start a family, but it can have certain risks. Those risks are why it’s better to have a single embryo transferred during the IVF process. It’s easier for the gestational carrier’s body to accept the transfer so that the embryo can implant itself so pregnancy can take place. This benefits both the surrogate and the pregnancy.

Many intended parents also prefer to just have a single baby instead of twins or other multiples. This makes a single embryo transfer the logical option.

Risks associated with double embryo transfers

Unless the intended parents wish to have twins, double embryo transfers may be better avoided. There are more risks to having two embryos implanted in a gestational carrier. One or both embryos could fail to implant, meaning a pregnancy does not happen. However, even if both do implant, there’s a higher chance of miscarriage, preterm labor, premature birth and other risks.

The gestational carrier is more likely to require a cesarean section when the babies are due. However, she can also develop preeclampsia or gestational diabetes. Double embryo transfers also carry higher risks of birth defects compared with single babies.

Single embryo transfers are the safer way to go. In some cases, after a single embryo transfer, it’s possible for the embryo to split naturally, resulting in identical twins. This is a better risk because you are having one embryo transferred for your surrogate to carry.