Single embryo transfer leads to twice the fun for the Campbell family
For one Las Vegas couple, a single embryo transfer at our Las Vegas fertility center led to one of the biggest – and happiest – surprises of their lives.
Gina Campbell, a middle school dean of students, and her husband, Michael, a police sergeant, chose to delay growing their family until their early 30s, after Gina had completed her master’s degree. But once they started trying to conceive, their journey wasn’t as easy as they had hoped.
“We tried for three years unsuccessfully, and about 18 months into that process, we were pregnant, but never knew it,” she says. “It was an early miscarriage. Then, six months later, I had an ectopic pregnancy in my right fallopian tube. My third pregnancy was three months later. That one made it to my uterus, and I had a positive pregnancy test. But at eight weeks, there was no heartbeat. We decided to see a specialist because we thought we needed a little science.”
After researching and visiting Las Vegas-area fertility specialists, Gina and Michael chose The Fertility Center of Las Vegas.
“We just fell in love with Dr. Shapiro, from his bowtie to his smile,” she remembers. “He literally said to us, ‘What is your objective?’ By then, I was 33, and we wanted to get pregnant as quickly as possible. He looked us in the eye and said, ‘I will get you there.’ We were sold.”
The first step was comprehensive fertility testing for both partners, which revealed no major fertility problems other than tubal damage from the ectopic pregnancy. While surgery to repair the tube was an option, the couple didn’t want to wait any longer. Together, Dr. Shapiro, Gina and Michael decided to go straight to IVF with a single embryo transfer to reduce the risk of a twin pregnancy.
“The first try worked like a charm,” Gina recalls. “My ovaries produced 38 follicles, and 19 were retrieved. Of those, 13 fertilized, and eight embryos made it to Day 5.”
Because of their history of miscarriages, the couple opted for preimplantation genetic screening (PGS). Four of the eight embryos were identified as chromosomally abnormal. Of the remaining, chromosomally normal frozen embryos, three were female and one was male.
“It gives me goosebumps to think that if we had not done PGS, and had transferred four times, we might have just given up and never known that our other embryos were good to go,” Gina says.
A big surprise after single embryo transfer
The couple decided to transfer one of the genetically normal female embryos in hopes of having a baby girl. Two weeks after a textbook-perfect single embryo transfer, the couple returned to our Las Vegas fertility center for a pregnancy test and ultrasound scan.
“They’re staring at the screen, and they don’t tell me anything,” she says. “I was ready to lose it, because we had been through this three times before, and there was nothing in there. Then they turned the screen toward us, and she says, ‘This one looks really good.’ And we said, ‘What do you mean? We only transferred one!’ And then she pointed to another dot and said, ‘I think it split.’ Two weeks later, we had twin heartbeats.”
Typically, our Las Vegas fertility center performs single embryo transfers to reduce the risk of twin pregnancy, which can be high risk for both a mother and her babies. Embryos that divide into identical twins are exceedingly rare, but in most cases of twin pregnancy, both babies are born healthy and thrive.
That was certainly the case for the Campbell family, despite a difficult pregnancy for Gina due to persistent nausea, followed by a C-section due to both babies being breech.
“I was miserable during the pregnancy, but the babies never had any issues,” she says. “They made it to 37.5 weeks and weighed six pounds each when they were born. We all came home on June 10, my husband’s birthday.”
Being parents to Ellie and Ivy, now eight months old, is everything that Gina and Michael could ever have wished for, and more.
“It’s exhausting and beautiful,” Gina says. “I come home from work, and they are in walkers and come rushing up to me with their arms out, so excited to see me. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I would do it all over again.”
To learn more about single embryo transfer and IVF, contact our Las Vegas fertility center.