Double Embryo Transfer (DET)

Definition - What does Double Embryo Transfer (DET) mean?

A double embryo transfer (DET) is when two embryos developed using in vitro fertilization (IVF) are transferred into a woman's uterus for implantation. It is hoped that by transferring more than one good-quality embryo there will be a higher chance of at least one embryo implanting successfully and going on to develop into a fetus.

Double embryo transfer carries with it the risk of a twin pregnancy in cases where both embryos successfully implant in the woman's uterus.

FertilitySmarts explains Double Embryo Transfer (DET)

The goal of double embryo transfer is that at least one of the embryos will successfully implant in a woman's uterus. There are many reasons an individual or couple may opt for this procedure over single embryo transfer (SET). One is due to the cost of IVF. Those whose insurance doesn't cover IVF may opt to have multiple embryos transferred at once in order to avoid paying for the procedure again in the future. Furthermore, people who have experienced multiple failed attempts of SET may elect to have a double embryo transfer in hopes of increasing the chances that one will implant.

The biggest disadvantage of DET is the risk of multiple gestations (twin pregnancy). In the United States, 35% of pregnancies from IVF were twins. Twin pregnancy increases the risk of low birth weight due to the fact that the two fetuses need to share the limited space available in the uterus. There is also a greater chance of premature birth in twin pregnancy.

The person or persons undergoing IVF and the health care provider caring for them will discuss the options for embryo transfer and whether SET or DET is the most appropriate plan for their needs.

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