IVF and Twins or Multiples
At Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health in Scottsdale, AZ, and Gilbert, AZ, we offer a number of fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilization, or IVF. IVF is an assisted reproductive technology that addresses some of the common causes of infertility to increase a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant. IVF assists with many stages of conception.
IVF can increase the likelihood of twins and multiples when multiple embryos are transferred. While many consider a multiples birth a benefit, it is important to be aware of the potential complications. Our fertility doctors can help patients consider the possibility of a multiples birth, and help them choose the number of embryos for IVF transfer.
How Common Are Twins and Multiples?
Twins and multiples are not highly common, but the CDC reports that the number of twins and multiples births have increased significantly over the past four decades. According to the CDC, twin births have nearly doubled over the past 40 years, while triplets and higher-order births are about four times higher now than they were 40 years ago.
The CDC further reports that the reason for the increase in twins and multiples can be largely attributed to fertility treatments. It is estimated that one-third of twin births and three-quarters of multiples births in the United States are the result of conceptions stemming from fertility treatments.
In particular, ART treatments, such as IVF, are a huge contributing factor to multiples births. In many cases, more than one embryo is transferred during IVF treatment. The greater number of embryos transferred, the higher the chances of a twins or multiples pregnancy.
Many of our patients consider the possibility of twins or multiples a benefit, especially after struggling to conceive. While the thought of twins or multiples may be exciting, it is important to remember that twin and multiple pregnancies involve a higher degree of risk. Complications that are more likely for women carrying twins or multiples include:
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
How Many Embryos Should I Transfer?
Choosing how many embryos to transfer during IVF may be one of the most difficult decisions. Even if patients want to avoid the risks of twins or multiples, they often hesitate to transfer a single embryo because they fear that treatment won’t be a success. Considering the cost and time commitment for a single IVF cycle, it is understandable that many patients lean toward the transfer of multiple embryos.
In the right circumstances, a single embryo transfer carries a high chance of a successful pregnancy. In other cases, two or more embryos may be advised to increase the likelihood of implantation. The number of embryos to transfer is ultimately a personal decision, but our doctors can help patients make the best choice for their unique situation based on factors such as age, overall health, and embryo development.
Contact Us to Learn More
IVF has been successful for a number of our patients at Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health. If you are interested in finding out if IVF is right for you, send us a message online at your earliest convenience, or call (480) 681-1749 to schedule an appointment.