By Holly Lebowitz Rossi

Patients who undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) to achieve pregnancy are no more likely to succeed if they have 3 embryos transferred than if they have 2 transferred, a new study published in the journal Lancet has found.  The Associated Press reports that the study found that higher numbers of embryo transfers leads to higher rates of multiple births, which are risky for both mothers and babies.

One particularly interesting finding of the study was that women under age 40 who had 3 embryos transferred actually had a lower rate of live births (25 percent) than women who transferred 2 embryos (33 percent).  Researchers hypothesize that this finding is due to the higher risk of miscarriage when women are carrying multiples--if one fetus miscarries, the whole pregnancy can be lost.

Image: In vitro fertilization, via Shutterstock.

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