The Israel Fertility Association (IFA) and The Israel Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISOG) published a new set of guidelines earlier this month, recommending single-embryo transfers for women under 30.
The recommendation, experts explained, was aimed at reducing multiple pregnancies, which can pose an increased risk to both mums and children. The previous endorsement, dating back to 2004, stated that up to 2 embryos could be transferred per cycle. According to the updated position, single transfers are advised for the first two treatment cycles. If these prove unsuccessful, 2 embryos can be transferred starting from cycle number 3.
Single-Embryo Transfers: Healthy Children are the Goal
According to IFA head, Prof Talia Eldar-Geva, the aim is reducing the risks for both mother and child. She further added that in the US, where no such guideline exists, multifetal pregnancies and births are relatively common, and so are related complications.
Application of this recommendation should not, however, negatively impact success rates. As Prof Martha Dirnfeld, Head of Division Reproductive Endocrinology and IVF at the Carmel Medical Center, explains, embryo-freezing techniques have improved to the point where fresh + frozen (if necessary) cycle success rates are virtually identical to those of double embryo transfers (without the associated risks).
Israel – Fertility Treatment Capital of the World
With 40 thousand cycles taking place every year, Israel has one of the highest fertility treatment rates (per capita) in the world. According to 2011 statistics, 4% of Israeli children were conceived with the help of ART. Women under 45 can undergo IVF with their own eggs; older patients can receive an egg donation. The treatment is provided for free (subsidized by the Health Ministry) for the first two children.