The recent press coverage of single embryo transfer has left some patients confused as to whether having one or two embryos is the best option. Peter Braude, Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, King’s College London, formerly chair of the Expert Group on Multiple Births after IVF has writtien a commentary which might help put this back into perspective and is well worth a read. The One at a Time Website is full of information on single embryo transfer and the risks to mother and baby of multiple births and if you are undergoing IVF treatment then the website is well worth a vist before you make your decision on whether or not to have one or two embryos replaced.
The decision to have a single embryo transfer is a difficult one and depends on many factors, including the age of the woman and the number of embryos available for freezing and future frozen embryo transfer (FET). Infertility Network supports the recommendations for patients most at risk of a multiple birth to opt for a single embryo transfer, after discussion with their clinician to ensure this is the best option for them. However both I N UK and the National Infertility Awareness Campaign (NIAC) have consistently called for elective single embryo transfer to go hand in hand with full NHS funding to give the best possible outcome - a single healthy baby - from fertility treatment.
Many PCTs don't fully fund the three cycles of treatment recommended for eligible couples by NICE, and some who fund one or two cycles don't fund frozen embryo transfers. Until this changes it will be difficult to persuade patients to opt for a single embryo transfer and as a former patient I can totally understand that.
We are very concerned that if commissioning for fertility treatment goes to GPs under the new NHS structure, the lack of funding for IVF treatment will be even more widespread . Help us to lobby for fertility treatment to come under specialist commissioning by taking a few minutes to download this template letter to send to your MP (and send a copy to the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley)
Profesor Braude says
“Of course you can have all your embryos put back, but preferably one at a time”.
But until we get full, fair and equitable NHS funding many of you are simply not going to get all your embryos put back unless you have the money to pay for treatment.