IUI and the Chance of Twins
At Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health, our fertility doctors offer a wide range of treatments to address common causes of infertility, and increase a person’s chances of becoming pregnant. One such treatment is intrauterine insemination, or IUI. IUI introduces sperm directly to the uterus, making it easier for the sperm to fertilize an egg.
IUI makes conception more likely, but many potential patients from Scottsdale and Gilbert, AZ, question our fertility doctors about how IUI affects the chance of twins. It is important for patients to consider the likelihood of a multiple pregnancy when pursuing fertility treatment.
Are Twins More Likely When Undergoing IUI?
In the simplest terms, yes, twins are more likely for individuals undergoing IUI treatment. Because of the nature of fertility treatments, the percentage of multiple pregnancies among people undergoing assisted reproductive techniques is generally higher than that of natural pregnancies, no matter what specific treatment is performed.
Why Does IUI Increase the Chance of Having Twins?
The primary reason that IUI increases the chance of twins is that the procedure often involves the use of fertility medication. Prior to the IUI procedure, the intended mother usually undergoes ovarian stimulation. Ovarian stimulation involves the administration of hormones which promote the production of multiple mature eggs.
If multiple eggs are released during ovulation, more than one may be fertilized, and the risk of twins or a multiple birth increases. The likelihood is especially high because IUI introduces sperm directly to the uterus, making it much easier for it to reach and fertilize released eggs. Furthermore, the sperm used during IUI treatment has been washed, meaning only the healthiest and most mobile/motile sperm are selected.
How Does the Chance of Twins from IUI Compare to IVF?
Our Scottsdale patients are often surprised to hear that IUI may affect the likelihood of twins even more than in vitro fertilization (IVF).
People tend to associate IVF with twins or multiple births because more than one embryo may be transferred during treatment. However, during IVF, fertility doctors maintain a great deal of control throughout the entire procedure. During IUI, sperm is deposited in the uterus, but our doctors have no control over how many eggs are fertilized, or how many embryos are transferred.
Potential Risks of Multiples Pregnancies
Many patients welcome the idea of twins, and are happy to hear that fertility treatment makes a multiple pregnancy more likely. While there are certainly benefits to welcoming two children at once, it is important that patients understand the potential risks of a multiple pregnancy.
When a woman is carrying more than one child, pregnancy concerns include:
- Gestational diabetes
- Placental abruption
- Premature labor
- Low birth weight
Considering Multiple Pregnancy and IUI
The increased risk of twins should not deter individuals from considering IUI or other fertility treatments. Rather, it is just good to be well-informed of the potential risks that could arise should fertility treatment result in twins or triplets.
Get in Touch with Our Fertility Doctors
The fertility doctors at Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health would be happy to answer any questions you may have about IUI treatment, your chances of twins with IUI, or our other fertility services. To schedule an appointment with our doctors, send us a message online at your earliest convenience, or call (623) 469-3992.