The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) recently published their Preliminary Clinic Summary Report for 2016 and the data shows some positive trends that are leading to healthier pregnancies for moms and babies. Most notably, there has been a rise in elective single embryo transfers, which has led to fewer multiple gestation pregnancies.
SART’s Preliminary Clinic Summary Report consolidates IVF data from 377 member clinics, who cumulatively performed 242,618 assisted reproductive technology (ART) cycles in 2016.
In 2016, the use of elective single embryo transfer increased to 42.36% across all age groups compared to 34.5% in 2015. In addition, in 2016, even when multiple embryos were being transferred, there was still a decrease in the average number of embryos transferred per cycle across all age groups.
Transferring fewer embryos leads to fewer high-risk multiple gestation pregnancies. Of the babies born from the 2016 ART cycles, 84% were singletons compared to 80.5% singletons in 2015. The percentage of twins decreased from 19.1% in 2015 to 15.6% in 2016. The percentage of triplets remained the same at 0.4% in 2015 and 2016.
It is nice to see this trend continuing since the rate of twins and triplets has increased dramatically over the last few decades. The twin birth rate in the U.S. has increased by more than 75% since 1980. Today, almost 4 in 10 children born through IVF are twins. Although twins have become so common, we must remember that these pregnancies have higher risks, including risks of cesarean section, gestational diabetes, preterm birth, hypertensive disorders in pregnancy, etc.
At Reproductive Partners, we have one of lowest multiple pregnancies rates in California. We do our best to adhere to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine guidelines regarding number of embryos to transfer to keep our patients and their future children safe and healthy. For more information about the use of single embryo transfer to achieve a safe and healthy pregnancy, visit our Single Transfer, Safer Pregnancy, Healthier Baby page.