Thursday, March 19, 2015

Embryo Transfer: 1 or 2

Deciding how many embryos to transfer is such a personal opinion yet so many people have something to say about it...many of those who have never gone through it.

Before arriving for our transfer we had heard that we only had 2 embryos growing normally.  We had no idea what they would tell us when we walked in that morning.  Turns out both embryos were growing.  We had an 8-cell (that was the 4-cell the day before) and a 5-cell (that was the 2-cell the day before.)

Before the doctor even began to explain what they were going to I jumped in and told him that I felt very strongly about only transferring one.  I asked him what the chances of twins would be if we put both in and he said 1 in 3.  I saw that as a pretty good chance of twins.  Surprisingly, he was very supportive of my thinking.  He told me if I had that strong feelings about only putting in one then that is what I should do.  He was honest and said he would love if I would put in two because that would give me a better chance of a pregnancy and would raise his pregnancy rate at the clinic, but then said that at the end of the day he wants what his patients want.  I was touched by his honesty.  Although I LOVED the doctor that did our transfer for our first IVF I definitely felt forced into transferring two (thank goodness we did because we got H out of it, but I was in tears afterward.)  The doctor said I should not be leaving in tears.  He also said it was a whole different ballgame because we already have a child at home.

So, the doctor and nurses left the room to let us talk and I burst into tears.  It was so difficult being in the same room again with almost the same decision as last time.  But, this time I felt much stronger and more confident in our decision to transfer only one.

P went out and got the doctor and announced we would be transferring one.  One little embryo, knowing that the other would probably not make it to freeze.  Meaning if this doesn't work we will be starting all over again.  Surprisingly, the doctor recommended putting in the 5-cell embryo because it looked "perfect" while the 8-cell embryo was already showing signs of deteriorating.  The embryologist even commented that by the time she went back and got the embryo it could have multiplied even more.  And that it did.  When the embryologist handed our embryo through the glass window to the doctor she announced, "you are now transferring a textbook 7-cell embryo."  With that being said, I knew we were doing the right thing.

If this works it will be a miracle and all those people that I have been cursing under my breath for telling me it only takes one will be right.  Because that is all we've got.  We never got a phone call after our transfer which means our 8-cell didn't make it to freeze.  It makes me sad and it will probably make me even sadder if this doesn't work out.  But, I am still confident we made the right decision.  When we walked out of that office I felt like I had some control over what would happen, and that was a good feeling after spending the last few weeks unable to control anything that was going on with my body.


  1. I totally understand your feelings about transferring only one embryo. At my clinic in Australia, they always insist on only transferring one embryo because it reduces the chances of multiples (which places the mother into a higher risk pregnancy). So we only transferred one embryo - and I was completely at ease with that decision. The idea of multiples terrified me and I wanted to only go ahead with what I was comfortable with, and that was one embryo. If nature split that embryo into multiples, then so be it, but luckily it didn't happen. Eddie is almost 22 months old now. Fingers and toes crossed for your little embie.

  2. I've never been in that situation but I love your doctors honesty. Praying for you.

  3. Congrats on your PUPO status! I transferred one perfect embryo and she is now almost 16 months old! I was terrified of twins and am so happy that I only transferred one.

  4. Praying for you and hoping for one little healthy babe!