Tandem IVF Cycle. What is it? When, why and who can use it?
Tandem IVF Cycle may seem as controversial procedure. Can it be a first line treatment then? What can justify the use of woman’s eggs and eggs from a donor at the same time? We asked experts about it and they explain this in details in 3on1 #IVFANSWERS:
Watch 3on1 #IVFANSWERS where our experts answers all these questions about preparation to embryo transfer
- Dr Diana Obidnyak – Head of International Cooperation Department AVA Peter Clinic
- Dr Inna Moroz – Fertility Specialist at ISIDA IVF Clinic
- Dr Alejandro Aldape Arellan – senior consultant in reproductive medicine, currently Medical Director of Institut Marquès Ireland.
Answer from Dr Obidnyak - Fertility Specialist
Tandem IVF cycle uses both donor’s eggs and patient’s own eggs. It is never considered to be the first line treatment. However, women, who for some reason cannot produce good quantity of good quality eggs, can experience serial ineffective IVF attempts resulting in emotional burn-out. Under these circumstances, the egg donation program turns out to be your back-up plan. After previous synchronisation, the patient and the donor begin the stimulation process at the same time. Egg retrieval will occur on the same day. The eggs collected both from the patient and the donor will be fertilised with the partner’s sperm. If the embryos developed from your eggs are of good quality, be sure that you will have them transferred. Then the donor egg embryos will be just frozen. In this case the pregnancy success rate will vary according to your age. If the quality of the couple’s embryos is not appropriate for the transfer, the embryos developed from the donor’ eggs are transferred. This enhances your chances of pregnancy up to 70%.
Answer from Dr Moroz - Fertility specialist
Tandem IVF cycle is about using your own eggs with donor eggs in one cycle. Unfortunately, academic research does not provide any evidence that the transfer of mixed embryos from the donor’s and the patient’s oocytes provide higher success rates. That is why at our clinic we do not recommend our patients to go for tandem IVF cycle. I can explain why. Generally, in tandem IVF cycle we have high quality embryos from the donor’s oocytes and lower quality embryos from the patient’s own oocytes. As we know, the uterus can identify the quality of the embryo and thus, select the embryo of the highest quality and exclude the embryo of lower quality. That’s why this can affect the growth of the good embryo. Especially, in case of the pregnancy with two fetuses, the chance of having genetic abnormalities is very high for the lower quality embryo. This altogether may impact the development of the pregnancy in a negative way. So instead of tandem IVF cycle, we recommend using genetic testing for embryos with NGS and transferring only one embryo of great quality and without any chromosome abnormalities.
Answer from Dr Aldape Arellan - Medical Director
It is a very common question: should I go for tandem IVF cycle with own eggs plus donor eggs? I have to say it is not our strategy and it is not what we encourage our patients to go with. Basically, it is because of two things. Firstly, when we did the risk and benefit assessment, we did not find a clear benefit for a patient. Secondly, it is quite difficult to synchronise the fresh IVF cycle with the donor cycle. Therefore, as many of the patients proceed to the tandem cycle, they need to work with frozen eggs. And when we compare the success rate of the frozen eggs and the fresh donor eggs, we see it is not the same.