CHR’s Dr. Norbert Gleicher recently spoke out against the findings of a 2012 Finnish study which promoted the use of elective single embryo transfer (eSET) in women between the ages of 40-44. Dr. Gleicher wrote a counter-response piece to the study which was published in the journal Human Reproduction last year.
In recent years, eSET, which is the practice of transferring only one embryo, instead of two, during an IVF treatment cycle, has received considerable attention in the reproductive community. Supporters of this practice argue that by transferring only one embryo, the risk for twins and subsequent complications is theoretically reduced.
However, Dr. Gleicher and his colleagues at CHR disagree.
“Is it really ethically acceptable to urge 40- to 44-year-old women to reduce their immediate pregnancy chances [by transferring only one embryo]? Is it ethically acceptable to do this to even younger women?… No patient can ever be guaranteed that she will be given a second chance to conceive, once she decides to split the initial 2ET chance into two consecutive eSET cycles.”
Dr. Gleicher’s comments caught the eye of the editor at Human Reproduction, Professor Hans Evers, who featured it a February highlight in the prestigious medical journal.