Norwalk, Conn. (WTNH) - NORWALK, Conn. (WTNH) -- Doctors say some couples going through in-vitro fertilization choose to implant only one embryo.
Karina Frey and her husband had 14-month-old Max through in-vitro fertilization, or IVP.
"We knew from the very beginning we wanted to only transfer one embryo," she said.
The Freys already had daughter Anya.
"I'm a numbers person and my nurse really worked with me to understand the numbers and I was really surprised two find out that your chance of getting pregnant doesn't go up by that much when you implant two, but your chance of having twins goes up by a lot," Frey explained.
She also wanted to avoid the risks linked to multiple births, including hypertension for mothers and babies born too soon.
Fertility specialist Dr. Spencer Richlin at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut said, "Fertility treatment can cause multiple pregnancies."
But Dr. Richlin limits the risk of that happening. He pointed out Karina was the ideal candidate for implanting one embryo because of her age.
"Someone who is under 35, someone who has children at home, someone who has done IVF in the past or has a lot of extra embryos for an IVF cycle, in that situation, she can put in one and potentially have a pregnancy rate around 60 percent," Dr. Richlin explained.
It's a different prescription for older women trying to get pregnant.
"When someone is above 35 we tell them, we usually suggest to putting in two to three embryos because when someone becomes older than 35, not all those embryos we're going to put in, are competent or genetically correct," he said.
Some couples are choosing to undergo a fairly new procedure, comprehensive chromosome screening or embryo biopsy to avoid multiple births.
"We can biopsy someone's embryo on day five, find out which embryos are genetically competent and then in a patient above 35 or above 38 put in one embryo that's genetically competent through that biopsy procedure," Dr. Richlin said.
Frey added that had she been older she may have considered implanting more than one embryo but said, "Luckily I didn't have to worry about that."
Other risks doctors worry about when a woman has more than one baby. For Mothers, pre-term labor complications and diabetes is a concern. For the babies, there are risks of cerebral palsy and neurological defects.
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