Does IVF cause twins?
One of the most common questions asked by the couple who plan to undergo IVF treatment. In short, the answer is ‘NO’. The IVF procedure does not necessarily increase the risk of multiple pregnancies. Women who undergo IVF have an increased rate of multiple pregnancies as compared to those who conceived naturally. If we go in terms of the stats, then it goes to around 40% of multiple births with IVF. On the other hand, naturally, the chances are just 2%, which is a huge difference. This is the reason, to reduce the chances of multiple pregnancies with IVF, the doctor transfers only one embryo.
Although sometimes the embryo has chromosomal issues, and to bypass that affect the doctor will plan for multiple embryo transfer. The main aim here is to increase the conception chances and success.
It is important to understand that the egg quality reduces with time and this, in turn, increases the risk of abnormalities in the embryo. In case the women have increased age, then the doctor might place 2 or more embryos, hoping that one would survive & women will conceive. However, it is possible that the embryo will successfully implant and it results in multiple pregnancies.
Are there risks involved with multiple pregnancies and birth?
The joy of hearing the news that you have twins might be even better. As you are waiting for such a long time, invest in the IVF procedure, spend your money, and everything went well.
But, when we consider the practicality, the risk is extremely higher with multiple pregnancies. Both mother and baby’s life is at risk. Some of the pregnancy complications which occur with multiple pregnancies are mentioned below:
- Gestational diabetes
- Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)
- Placental abruption
- Fetal demise/loss
In addition, even the birth in itself is linked with higher risk which includes:
- Higher rates of Cesarean birth
- Preterm labor/deliver
- Low birth weights
Babies with low birth weight and long-term health complications can have issues and sometimes it can be dangerous for their life. Well! That does not mean that risk cannot be reduced or multiple pregnancies cannot be managed. Make sure that your entire health is monitored closely by the team and you follow all the suggestions given by the fertility expert. It is better that you do everything as they suggest.
What can I do to reduce the chances of having twins?
As per the IVF expert, elective single embryo transfer (eSET) is the best option. Even if the doctor suggests you one embryo transfer, it is because of the following reasons:
- Improved and advanced technology has made it easier to choose a healthy and quality embryo.
- Genetic testing which includes PGS and PGD can check the genetic abnormalities which can lead to miscarriage. These tests are safe and do not result in any risk to the embryo.
- Time lapse photography takes pictures of the embryo every 5 minutes. This allows monitoring embryo growth and development. In addition, it is better to get the embryo transferred at the blastocyst stage.