Fertility Network UK
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One or Two ET, aged 40

Hi folks, Would appreciate your opnions/experience on this one:

I'm soon to do my first frozen embryo transfer with a private clinic.

We have three blastocysts frozen, and they are recommending two put in.

I have read they seem to think if you're 39/40 (which I am) then it's better to get two. But it's confusing as all the nhs literature and HFEA is trying to recommend only 1 to avoid multiple births & complications.

I am inclined to just have 1, but don't really know the best plan. Surely if we only have 3 embryos to work with then one at a time gives better odds?

Does anyone have any stats on this or advice, thanks in advance.


10 Replies

Hi smallcat. It's good that they're giving you the option. Personally I would always opt for two as it gives you the best odds that at least one will stick and also you could end up with 2 babies from the transfer (which would be a dream come true). There can be complications with twin pregnancies and that's a fact but that's a risk that a lot of us ivf girls are willing to take. The level of care that is available nowadays is second to none and so there's definitely reassurance for us in that respect. I dont think anybody, not even the medical staff, can ever guarantee anything regardless of whether it's a single or multiple embryo transfer you have. Even a single embryo transfer can have its complications. I always think, well if I end up with 2 babies I'd never need to go back for more treatment, but if I just had one, there's always the thought that I might want to go back and try again very quickly (as I'm fast approaching 40 myself). Like I said this is my own personal opinion and I'm so glad you're being given a choice but for me there would be no hesitation having 2 embryos transferred ;-) x x x

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Thanks noodles_ .

The problem is that there is a lot of literature on the risks of having twins, and the risk of miscarriage seems to go up. So it's more the thought of losing both Embryos at once that would be devastating. What I'm trying to find out is if the chances of one out of the two implanting go up, surely if that was the case then we'd all be having two implanted at any age. I still think I'll stick with one.

This is what it states on the official HFEA website hfea.gov.uk/fertility-treat... :

Multiple births

Having a multiple birth (twins, triplets or more) is the single greatest health risk associated with fertility treatment.

The HFEA has imposed restrictions on the number of embryos that can be transferred in IVF in order to reduce the number of multiple births.

Multiple births carry risks to the health of the mother and the unborn babies. The babies are more likely to be premature and to have a below-normal birth weight.

Studies show that the risk of death before birth, or within the first week of life, is more than four times greater for twins than for a single baby. For triplets, the risk is seven times greater than for a single baby.

The risk of cerebral palsy is five times higher for twins and 18 times higher for triplets than for a single baby.

Your clinic should discuss these risks with you when deciding how many embryos to transfer in your treatment.

Reducing multiple births – one way to greatly reduce the risks associated with multiple births is to use single embryo transfer, so make sure you speak to your clinician about this option.


I read all the info re multiple embryos being transferred and I still had 2 put back as I dont have time on my side and I have health issues. I personally felt the risk was worth taking. I also felt that the hospital wouldn't have given me the option if they felt so strongly about it. My consultant actually said afterwards that I'd made the right decision to have 2 put back. Nobody is going to be able to give us a cast iron guarantee for our health or our prospective baby/babies health. I think you have to decide for yourself and know that you & your partner are both comfortable with that decision. Best of luck with whatever you decide x x


Hi smallcat, I would also have 2 put back as having twins for me isn't something I'm worried about. My understanding is that if the little blastocyst is going to stick it doesn't matter if you put 1 or 10 back its down to each individual blastocyst. If you are using anything additional such as embryo glue and baby aspirin then if its gonna stick it will. If you're gutt is to have one (and you can afford more goes) then go with that. Fertility treatment is still an unmastered science so no one can predicts the outcome for anyone.

I wish you all the luck in the world x


Hi Smallcat,

I understand your concerns as the consultant originally told me I may have two embryos put back due to my age. Although the idea of twins is lovely I was terrified of the possible complications and further risks. As it is they decided the quality of one particular embryo was so good that they would only transfer one.

I'm lucky that I got my BFP, but I think if it was twins I would continue to worry so much throughout the pregnancy. Ultimately I'm pleased that I only had one transferred. You definitely have to way up the risks and obviously costs, but do what you think is best for you.

Like we all know if the one they put is going to work it will work, it's all up to the embryo.

Good luck with the FET xxx

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I had 2 put back in on both rounds as I'm over 40 and at the recommendation of our consultant,unfortunately we got BFNs. On round 3 we're opting for 2 if 2 or 3 day ET but if we get to blastocyst stage we're more likely to go for 1.

There are more risks with multiple pregnancies but it's a risk I'm prepared to accept.



I was 39 and had 2 put back twice and none took..... It's a lottery go with your heart.

if lucky to get more than 4 this round gong for 2 again and I will be 41🙏🏼😘


Im 32 and had 2 put back in my 2nd cycle. Neither of them took. But due to the small amount of eggs I produced we decided we had to give it everything we had. We will now wait until the new year to start cycle 3 which will now be privately funded, and the press will be more as we have no more NHS goes. So if we get the opportunity again, we will put back two again.


Hello, my clinic said that a double transfer only increased your chance of success by 5% and didn't double your chances. I'm not sure if that stat is affected by age though? It might be worth asking your clinic if they can advise on the stats. They do seem more comfortable transferring 2 once you're 40 but reading the posts it sounds like your head and heart are telling you to go with one.

There's no right answer, just what's right for you. Good luck whatever you decide! x

1 like

Just realised I didn't reply. Thanks to everyone on this thread. I have decided to go with one ET, we have 5 day blastocysts so hoping one will be strong enough to implant.

It will also depend if they thaw OK on the day as well, getting one thawed at a time.

The FET likely to be during the week of 5th October. Just waiting patiently until then.

Best wishes, xxx


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