Impact of day 3 or day 5 embryo transfer on pregnancy rates and multiple gestations

Ronald Beesley, Randal Robinson, Anthony Propst, Nancy Arthur, Matthew Retzloff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: To test the hypothesis that day 5 ET (D5ET) is superior to day 3 ET (D3ET) in pregnancy outcome and that it also reduces multiple gestations. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: Assisted reproductive technologies program at Wilford Hall Medical Center. Patient(s): Patients electing for either D3ET or D5ET. Intervention(s): Participants meeting inclusion criteria for D5ET elected either D3ET or D5ET. Main Outcome Measure(s): Cycles were compared by day of transfer and further stratified by patient age (<35 years and 35-40 years). The number of oocytes retrieved, embryos on day 3, embryos transferred, pregnancy rate, implantation rate, and twin and high order multiples (≥triplets) rates were compared. Result(s): Of the 274 patients who met our inclusion criteria, 153 underwent a D3ET and 121 underwent a D5ET. The D5ET group had a significantly lower mean age and number of embryos transferred and a higher implantation rate (56% vs. 42%) than the D3ET group. Patients who were 35-40 years old had a significantly higher live-birth rate (68% vs. 40%). Although not statistically significant, the D5ET groups had higher clinical pregnancy (73% vs. 65%) and twin pregnancy (33% vs. 25%) rates. Conclusion(s): Blastocyst transfer resulted in fewer embryos transferred, with a trend toward improved clinical pregnancy and higher twin pregnancy rates. Live-birth rates were improved in patients 35-40 years of age. Younger patients opting for D5ET should do so with a commitment toward single ET.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1717-1720
Number of pages4
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Embryo transfer
  • blastocyst transfer
  • multiple gestation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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