Are Twins In Your Future?
Having a newborn is a joyous event, and for some, that can be double the delight. In the United States, as of 2018, the birth rate for twins was 32.6 for every 1,000 live births. Surprisingly, this birth rate has increased due to the higher uptake of in vitro fertilization, or IVF. With IVF, a fertility clinic creates an embryo outside the body. The embryo is then implanted for pregnancy. That means there may be a possibility of twins with IVF.
Why ask for twins?
When IVF first started, twins were not intentional. However, implanting multiple embryos at the same time significantly increased the chances of multiple births. With this knowledge, couples now routinely ask for twins for several reasons. First, IVF is costly, and couples seek to fulfill family planning in one go. Some parents also like the idea of having twin boys or twin girls. IVF can also be lengthy and emotionally taxing. Older couples, in particular, often prefer to have twins since pregnancy success rates decrease with age.
Are twins possible with IVF?
Twins with in vitro fertilization is possible. If the womb has more than one embryo, multiple births can happen. That does not rule out the possibility that one embryo can create identical twins. Whatever the reason for wanting twins, the chance of twins is a difficult conversation between clinic and patient. Twins with IVF are considered a high-risk complication. To avoid complications, clinics today recommend and perform single embryo transfers. However, many couples and clinics still transfer multiple embryos. Multiple embryos increase the chances of pregnancy and multiple births.
Understanding the risks
Yes, a couple can ask for twins, but the clinic will counsel on the risks. The main risk with IVF is pre-term births. Pre-term births account for 60% of twin deliveries and bring a host of complications for the babies. Placental abruption and gestational diabetes are more likely to occur since multiple babies compete for nutrients and can create significant swings in hormones. Unfortunately, more severe complications can occur like genetic conditions, intrauterine growth restriction, and fetal loss.
What can increase the chances of twins with IVF?
Most fertility clinics will try to safely facilitate the parents, if possible, while clearly outlining the risks. However, few factors can increase the chances of twins. The number of embryos placed into the mother’s womb is the most critical factor. Age can also have an impact on the chances of twins with in vitro fertilization. The rate of twin pregnancy for women under 35 is 54.5%. Fertility drugs such as clomiphene and gonadotropins improve the chance of having twins with IVF. The clinic can also complete preimplantation genetic testing on all available embryos. PGT rules out genetic conditions and helps the clinic transplant the best embryos. While these steps improve the chances, regrettably, there’s no guarantee that the mother will have healthy twins on one or more IVF cycles.
Are you seeing double? Know your risks
IVF is a viable technique to increase the chances of pregnancy. However, the procedure cannot guarantee one birth, far less two. Furthermore, if the woman does become pregnant with twins, several risks and complications can occur. However, both parties can take steps to improve the chances of a full-term pregnancy. There are indeed both rewards and risks with twins with in vitro fertilization. Speak with a fertility specialist today.