Couples undergoing IVF would do better if they only have one embryo implanted at a time, new research has found.
An international study led by scientists at Aberdeen University revealed that women who have one embryo transferred during IVF treatment are five times more likely to give birth to a healthy baby than those who receive two embryos.
Double embryo transfers (DETs) are more likely to end in a premature or low-weight babies. Twin and triple pregnancies are also associated with a higher risk of miscarriage.
The findings, in the British Medical Journal, will increase the pressure to stop the practice of double embryo transfer (DET), because it risks pregnancies involving twins or triplets. UK fertility clinics should halt the practice as multiple pregnancies put mother and child at risk, the researchers say.
But some fertility experts say the widespread lack of IVF treatment on the NHS, which is meant to offer three free cycles to all, means some women seek two embryos.