IVF implants that use one egg rather than two almost halves the risk of babies being stillborn or dying within the first month, Australian scientists claim.
The study, presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, looked at 50,000 births in Australia and New Zealand and found that when two embryos were implanted into the mother’s uterus, the risk of death of a baby was 53% higher, reports The Telegraph
They also found that the risk was even higher using fresh embryos, rather than frozen. A 74% higher risk of baby mortality was recorded in a two fresh embryo transfer compared to a fresh single transfer.
Michael Chapman, from the University of New South Wales, said the study added to previous findings that successful single embryo IVF treatments resulted in babies that are “bigger, less premature and have lower abnormality rates.”
Peter Illingham, an IVF clinician working on the study said, “The death rate among babies born after single embryo transfer was just a fraction above the rate of 10 per 1,000 for all births.”
Australia currently has a 70% rate of single embryo transfer, while the UK is between 12 and 15%.