An appraisal of current embryo transfer strategies

Hum Fertil (Camb). 2023 Oct;26(4):815-823. doi: 10.1080/14647273.2023.2265152. Epub 2023 Dec 17.


Embryo transfer, one of the most essential procedures in assisted reproductive technology, plays a vital role in the success of in-vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection. During the last decades, the strategies for embryo transfer have changed dramatically. In this review, we evaluate the efficacy and safety of several current embryo transfer strategies including fresh versus frozen embryo transfer, cleavage- versus blastocyst-stage embryo transfer, and single- versus double-embryo transfer. Available evidence indicates that the freeze-only strategy improves the live birth rate after the first embryo transfer in high responders while making no difference in normal responders. The risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome is significantly reduced in the freeze-only strategy. Fresh blastocyst-stage embryo transfer increased live birth rate compared to cleavage-stage embryo transfer. The best embryo transfer strategy is one which tailors to individual circumstances and preferences.

Keywords: Embryo transfer; assisted reproductive technology; freeze-only strategy; in-vitro fertilization.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Embryo Transfer / methods
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro / methods
  • Humans
  • Live Birth*
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Semen*