Our journey through infertility, failed adoptions and now parenthood through the miracle of embryo adoption/donation.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Would you consider transferring 3 blasts?

Now hear me out before you start shouting "NO! DON'T DO IT!". This is just something that I am considering asking my RE about if this particular situation arises and need some thoughts about it before we decide to even broach the subject.

So here is the background: We started with 8 donated embryos, 2 two blasts and six day 3 embryos. The donor mother was 36 or 37 at the time of retrieval and they had a singleton with a fresh transfer. They had a surprise pregnancy and decided to donate the remaining 8 embryos. For my FET the clinic thawed all six of the day 3 embryos and allowed them to grow to blast stage. Two did not survive, two were transferred and two refrozen. Our cycle was not successful and we are left with 4 blasts for future transfers.

Our plan is to thaw two and transfer two. However, if one of those does not survive the thaw they will thaw another one. Herein lies the dilemma. Do I leave the remaining embryo frozen? Or do I request that it be thawed as well? If we do not get pregnant I doubt that we would spend another $2000 for another transfer with just one embryo. If we were local we probably would, but not with all of the travel involved. If we do have a successful pregnancy I still doubt that we would use the last embryo at a later date. Yet giving it back to the clinic scares me a bit as most couples will not want just one embryo and as far as I know the clinic will not mix batches of embryos. So will it sit there, forever frozen? Or do we take the risk and ask for 3 blasts to be transferred? I had posted a few months or so ago that twins scared me but after my failed cycle I would be thrilled with twins and would not complain one bit. But triplets? Yikes!

I am hoping that we don't find ourselves in this situation and the first two thaw beautifully. But I want to plan ahead because I know the reality of it all. Two of them have already frozen, thawed and refrozen already reducing its chances of success as it is. So, if you were in this situation what would you do? Is the slight risk of triplets worth it? Share with me your great wisdom please!!!


  1. Hmm...I am usually SOLIDLY in the only-transfer-one category. For us, we spend $4000 on a FET (not sure why our clinic charges so much more) and we only transfer one. Each embryo has the same chance whether it's transfered as a singleton or two or three and the money doesn't seem too much for the chance to get pregnant. However, after reading your post and the details of your situation and what you would do/wouldn't do in the future, I think in your situation, I would do it. My very un-expert opinion is that the chances of triplets would be very low and if this is your last go, you want the biggest chance to get pregnant. That's me putting myself in your shoes. Thanks for letting me read! :) ABI

  2. I have thought about this quite a bit b/c we are in the same situation- and my answer is yes. (Unless all 3 were of amazing quality.)
    Our first donation was 3 blasts- so we transferred all 3- and I had a singleton. Then we had 6 Indian embryos- cuz one one else wanted them- so we transferred 3 each time, but we knew quality was lower. I had a 6w loss and a bfn.
    Now, we have 4 blasts and plan on transferring 2. Unless one doesn't survive. I've tossed this same scenario around in my head- and decided that we would do all 3, for the same reasons you described. I don't want to leave 1 frozen. We ARE using a local clinic but it I'm comfortable spending all that $$ to transfer 1 embie. And you're right about donating it back: we overlooked the profiles with just 1 embryo cuz it seemed too risky financially.
    So, yes, we would transfer 3 blasts. With our DD, they told us the chance of triplets was 2% and we were willing to take those odds.
    Of course, let both pray that our 2 thaw beautifully and we don't have to worry about it!!

    1. Oops- that was supposed to be "I'm NOT comfortable spending all that money (and emotional energy) just to transfer 1". Sorry. Phone typo.

  3. Before I read your post but read the title my thoughts were no the most I would transfer is two. However after reading your post, I think if I were in your shoes I would transfer all three! It increases your chances of getting pregnant, the chances of triplets are low, yes it's quite possible but not very likely; and I don't know that I could leave a singleton frozen without any possibility of ever having a chance. There again this is just me putting myself in your shoes and trying to determine what I would do. I will be thinking about you and praying for you.

  4. I would definitely transfer 3 blasts, especially in your position. On my last IVF we transferred FOUR three day embryos and none took. I didn't blog about the number of embryos we transferred until after the BFN though, because people have strong opinions on these issues and I didn't want to deal with any negative comments. I am wishing you the best in whatever you decide.

  5. First off, I am SO sorry that you are even having to make this decision. Infertility sucks! Kudos to you for thinking it through well in advance and going into this with a plan - that is HUGE and I commend you for it!!

    I have to admit, I have 3 sets of friends with triplets via IVF - one did embryo adoption and transferred 2 frozens, one split and they got 3. One transferred 2 fresh, 1 split and they got 3. One transferred 3 frozen and all 3 took. Seeing them and how much their lives have changed with 3 small babies, I can't tell you that transferring 3 is a good idea. My advice, would be NOT to transfer 3. Keep in mind that any one of these 3 could split into 2. Yes, chances are small, but it is possible and I've seen it happen twice now.

    My advice - you use 2 or you use 4. If 2 are thawed and neither survive you thaw the next 2. If two are thawed and only 1 survives, you transfer the one (pray really hard that it takes) and if it doesn't work, you either save up for another FET (with the remaining 2) or give them back to the clinic - with 2 left there is a better chance of them getting adopted out, so you don't have to worry so much about just leaving the one.

    Finally, if you are thinking that if this cycle doesn't work you won't have the funds to do another FET, consider that if this does work and you have triplets (or more), will you have the funds to provide for that many babies?

    Good luck, my dear! I will continue praying not only for your healing heart but for this upcoming decision, too!



  6. If I were in your shoes & the scenario that you describe arises (which I hope it doesn't and your first two thaw wonderfully), then I would transfer 3. I think the risk of triplets is low -- and you could get triplets from just transferring 2 as well. Wishing you the best!!

  7. I put three back on my 3rd IVF attempt and I did get pregnant. Unfortunately I miscarried at 5 weeks so I don't know how many actually implanted. My first Beta was 91 so I tend to believe it was only one baby due to that number. We had transferred 2 embryos on our first two attempts so putting back 3 was the best option for us even though it didn't work out in the end. I would do the same thing again.

  8. We transfeted 3 blasts and had one implant. My understanding is that the NEDC often transfers 3 and still has a low rate of triplets- 4% I think. It's definitely a risk and you have to be comfortable with the possibility of triplets. If I were faced with the choice between freeze 1 or transfer 3, I would transfer 3. Hopefully you won't even have to make this decision.

  9. It would definitely depend on the quality of the embryos as well as our RE's opinion and your pregnancy history.
    In my case I'm already high risk due to our previous loss and the preeclampsia with my last pregnancy so we absolutely will only do 1 embryo at a time with transfers as I want to limit my chances of a multiple pregnancy as much as possible but the quality of the embryos in terms of grade would make a bit impact on the decision for us.
    Wishing you clarity and wisdom as you guys consider your options and try to make a decision.

  10. I've thought about it too coz there is a chance we may encounter the same situation as you (we are not yet matched at NEDC). But if in your situation, I'd probably transfer 3. My friend went thru NEDC and transferred 3 but did not get pregnant. The second time, they transferred 3 again, and now they have twins. We have not thought too much about it yet, but we'd probably do it in the situation.

  11. I would probably transfer all 3, just given my FET history. In July 2010, we transferred two high quality blasts and got a negative beta. In September 2010, we transferred 3 blasts (2 good and 1 not so good) and received a very weak positive beta following a negative second beta. In November, we transferred 3 blasts again (2 great and 1 not so good) and now have our twins. Multiples do happen, but negative betas seem to happen more frequently. Our highest graded embryos were our first two blasts in July 2010 and yet neither implanted.

  12. Ours weren't blasts, 3 day embryos I think, but we transferred 3 the first time and 4 the second time and didn't achieve pregnancy either time.

  13. We transferred 3 blasts and Sarah was born from those. This time we are very open to transferring 3 again.

  14. We have sent that we would like 3 day 3 embryos transferred. If this does not work we will probably have to wait till at least July to save up the fees again to try again. With dsy 3 embryos we were very comfortable with transferring 3. I was initially nervous, but everytime we prayed it was always 3 that we should put back that felt right, so we will see. Good luck with your choice, in your situation I would probably do three.

  15. I would consider transferring three because of the scenario you find yourself in and because of the age of the donor. Hopefully you won't have to decide that because two will thaw.

    I faced this decision myself a year ago when we had 4 left from a donor couple. I didn't want to have just one left. Luckily we didn't end up having to make that choice because all 4 survived the thaw.


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