Will I Have Twins?

When a couple has difficulty getting pregnant, assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment can help. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a less invasive option that uses ovulatory stimulant medications to encourage multiple eggs to grow during a single cycle. With more than a single egg released from the ovaries, women undergoing IVF may wonder if twins are a possibility.


Stimulating egg growth

With intrauterine insemination, the patient is given fertility medication to encourage more than an egg to develop. During the cycle, egg development is closely monitored using blood work and ultrasounds, and the doctor can identify the number of eggs present. Once the follicles are mature, a trigger shot is given to release the eggs. Next, the male partner’s sperm sample is inserted directly into the uterus using a catheter. If everything goes according to plan, the sperm and egg meet and create an embryo. A positive result should appear when the woman tests for pregnancy about 2 weeks later.

Ideal IUI candidates

Intrauterine insemination using ovulatory stimulant medication can be helpful for women with health conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who do not naturally ovulate every cycle. Older women and patients with a diminished ovarian reserve can also benefit from fertility medications that encourage egg growth. The goal is to get at least 1-2 eggs and ideally no more than 4 eggs during a single cycle. This approach improves the chances of success while reducing the risks of higher-order multiples such as triplets and quadruplets.

Tell me about twins

For many couples, the idea of twins can be quite appealing. Especially in patients who have experienced infertility for some time, the idea of multiples sounds great. However, women should remember that twin pregnancies are associated with higher risks for both mom and baby. More than 60% of twins are born premature. Twin pregnancies also carry a higher risk for miscarriage, congenital disabilities, gestational hypertension, and anemia. Each case is unique, and the fertility doctor will take into consideration the patient’s overall health, age, and personal desires before deciding whether to proceed with IUI using ovulation stimulant medication.

The odds of multiples

Research shows that the risk of multiples is directly correlated with the number of eggs present during an IUI cycle. In a recent study, women with a single egg who underwent IUI had a 3.9% twin rate, while women with 5 mature follicles experienced a 23.3% chance of twins. Couples desiring twins can move forward with IUI, knowing this outcome is not guaranteed but a possibility. Women who do not want a multiple birth should work closely with the doctor to monitor egg development and ensure that a single mature follicle is present before insemination.

Double the fun

Intrauterine insemination with ovulation induction is a great way to try to get pregnant if natural attempts have been unsuccessful. If fertility medications result in the development and release of more than an egg during the cycle, twins are possible. Patients should work closely with the fertility doctor to increase the chances of overall pregnancy success while aiming for the optimal number of eggs desired. With IUI, growing a family by 1 or 2 is possible.

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