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Birla Fertility & IVF
Birla Fertility & IVF

IVF Twins & Multiple Pregnancies: Causes & Risks

  • Published on August 16, 2023
IVF Twins & Multiple Pregnancies: Causes & Risks

IVF has transformed the area of assisted reproduction and given hope to couples who are having trouble getting pregnant. IVF’s main objective is to induce a confirmed, healthy pregnancy, but it’s important to recognise that there is a danger of multiple pregnancies, including the possibility of having twins. The risks associated with multiple pregnancies and IVF twins will be covered in this article. Keep in mind that there are risks connected to IVF treatments, and being aware of them all will help you make an informed choice.

The side effects of ART treatment associated with in vitro fertilisation (IVF) are multiple pregnancies and the chance of twins. Typically, these are a result of the practice of transferring more than one embryo into the uterine lining during the implantation procedure for conception. According to the reports of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), 1 in 5 women who have undergone IVF treatment run the risk of producing multiple children. In general, IVF twins and multiple pregnancies have dramatically increased in the past few years. Therefore, it has become necessary to have a thorough discussion with your fertility expert about the risks and complications involved in IVF treatment to be aware of the potential situations and make informed decisions.

Roles of Embryo Transfer:

During an IVF cycle, one or more embryos are implanted into a woman’s uterus in the hopes of successful implantation and pregnancy. The number of embryos transferred is an essential factor in determining the likelihood of multiple pregnancies. A single embryo transfer (SET) is generally recommended to decrease the risk of multiple pregnancies because it benefits both the mother’s and her offspring’s health and increases the likelihood of a confirmed pregnancy. However, in some instances, such as advanced maternal age or past failed efforts, numerous embryos may be implanted to boost the odds of success.

Factors Affecting Multiple Pregnancies:

There are a variety of circumstances that can lead to multiple pregnancies in IVF. Some of the significant factors include:

  • The age of the patient
  • The number and quality of embryos transferred in the uterus
  • The reputation of the fertility clinic’s
  • The expert’s experience

Advanced maternal age, defined as 35 years or older, is linked to a decrease in fertility and a higher risk of transferring multiple embryos. Furthermore, embryo quality is critical and important, as higher-quality embryos have a better probability of implanting successfully and leading to confirmed pregnancy, potentially leading to multiple pregnancies.

Risk of IVF Twins and Multiple Pregnancies :

While having twins may be tempting to some couples who are opting for IVF treatment, it is crucial to be mindful of the higher risks and difficulties and risks that come with multiple pregnancies. Twins are more likely than singletons to be born prematurely, which can result in a variety of health complications for both the kids and the mother. Preterm birth, low birth weight, gestational diabetes, hypertension, and other problems necessitate close supervision and specialised medical treatment. Understanding these hazards is critical for making an educated decision about how many embryos to transfer during an IVF session. Read below to know about these risks in detail:

  • Low birth weight: Compared to singletons, twins and multiples frequently have lower birth weights. A higher risk of health concerns, such as respiratory disorders and developmental delays, is linked to low birth weight.
  • Premature births: Premature birth is more likely to occur with multiple pregnancies, which can cause a variety of health issues for newborns. Developmental delays, respiratory distress syndrome, and long-term health problems are all more common in premature babies.
  • Caesarean delivery: Due to the increased risk of problems during childbirth, multiple pregnancies are more likely to have a caesarean section delivery.
  • Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS): Identical twin pregnancies that share a placenta run the danger of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), in which one twin receives an abnormal amount of blood from the other. Both twins may experience challenges as a result, such as growth abnormalities and heart issues, during the development period.
  • Gestational diabetes: Having many pregnancies increases the risk of the mother developing gestational diabetes, which needs to be carefully managed to prevent complications for both the mother and the unborn children.
  • Postpartum haemorrhage: Because carrying several children puts more stress on the uterus, the risk of postpartum haemorrhage is higher.
  • Preeclampsia and high blood pressure: Twin pregnancies have a higher risk of leaving the mother with preeclampsia and high blood pressure, which can be hazardous to both the mother and the unborn children.

Personalised Decision-Making: 

The counsellor will explain all the options to you, and they can be tailored according to your requirements. Counselling sessions are helpful and allow couples to address all possible concerns, clarify uncertainties, and make decisions that are in line with their unique circumstances and objectives.

  • The number of embryos to transfer should be decided in conjunction with a fertility expert or reproductive endocrinologist.
  • They will take into account a variety of criteria, including the couple’s reproductive history, age, and overall health.
  • The dangers and benefits of transferring one or more embryos will be reviewed so that educated decisions can be made.

IVF Technique Advances:

The IVF process has been improved over the years and turned out to be a game changer for couples facing issues with fertility and getting pregnant. Also, because of advancements in IVF techniques throughout time, the risk of multiple pregnancies has been dramatically reduced. Some of the advanced IVF techniques include blastocyst culture, in which embryos are grown for a lengthy time before transfer, and preimplantation genetic testing (PGT), which helps in selecting the healthiest embryos for transfer. These advanced techniques provide a more targeted and individual approach, which lessens the need for several embryo transfers during IVF treatment.

Conclusion:

Many couples have been able to become parents thanks to IVF, but it’s critical to recognise the dangers and considerations connected with multiple pregnancies, including the chance of twins. Open communication, informed decision-making, and personalised counselling are critical to ensuring the best outcomes for both the mother and the babies. Fertility doctors and reproductive endocrinologists advise couples through the process, taking a variety of factors into account to ensure a healthy and successful IVF experience. Couples can make informed choices and improve their chances of a safe and healthy pregnancy by understanding the variables influencing multiple pregnancies and the hazards associated with them. If you are looking for effective IVF treatment but still need to understand the risks and complications of it, then consult the best fertility specialist at Birla Fertility & IVF today. You can either call us or book an appointment by filling in the required details, and our medical counsellor will call you back shortly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Is multiple pregnancies a common risk?

Yes. Multiple pregnancies are a common risk in IVF treatment. Typically, It is a result of transferring more than one cultured embryo to increase the success rate of a confirmed pregnancy.

  • Can I prevent IVF twins?

Yes. You can prevent IVF twins by asking your specialist to transfer the best selected cultured embryo. This reduces the risk of multiple pregnancies, including twins. Also, it is advisable to talk to your specialist about your expectations for the IVF treatment to avoid any confusion.

  • What is the common risk of IVF twins?

IVF twins can be complicated at times. However, it happens in a few cases only. Some of the potential common risks of IVF twins are:

  • Preterm birth
  • Low weight birth
  • Developmental problems
  • Is it safe to have IVF twins?

IVF has evolved over the years and is now a safe and effective treatment for those looking for assisted reproduction. However, the severity of the condition may vary from one patient to another, so it’s better to consult the fertility specialist about it and take the steps according to the advice.

Written by:
Dr. Priyanka Yadav

Dr. Priyanka Yadav

Consultant
With 13+ years of experience in obstetrics, gynaecology, and fertility, Dr. Priyanka specializes in various areas, including both female and male infertility. Her extensive knowledge covers Reproductive Physiology and Endocrinology, Advanced Ultrasound and Doppler studies in ART. She is dedicated to providing personalized care to her patients, ensuring optimal outcomes for their reproductive health.
Jaipur, Rajasthan

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