Twins with IVF

Couples undergoing IVF treatment have a much higher probability of having more than one child. There are a number of reasons for this and at times it can be curtailed. There are different kinds of twins and to understand how the multiple pregnancies happen, it is important to first understand how these kinds of twins are formed.

Kinds of twins

There are two different kinds of twins that one can have.

  • Dizygotic: These are fraternal twins. They are from independently babies formed from two different fertilised eggs.
  • Monozygotic: These are identical twins. These twins are formed when the embryo divides and grows into two separate babies.

The chances of monozygotic twins in an IVF procedure are much higher after a blastocyst transfer. Doctors are not sure exactly why this happens, but it has been observed more in the older mothers than in the younger ones.

Dizygotic twins in an IVF procedure usually occurs when more than one embryo has been transferred. Some patients opt for the transfer of more than one embryo in the hope of a better probability of IVF success. However, it is important to understand that the success of the IVF procedure depends on the receptive conditions of the uterus. If the uterus environment is conducive then the possibility of all the fertilities eggs placed in the uterus developing into babies is high. If the condition is not okay, even with multiple eggs the success rate of even one egg surviving is negligible.

Usually patients who cannot afford multiple IVF cycles choose to have multiple embryo transfers. Some patients however, out of fear of having multiple pregnancies choose to have just one embryo transfer. In consultation with the doctor, the patient can decide how many embryo transfers they want done. The doctor may advise, but the final decision lies with the patient.

Risks of multiple pregnancies

There are many risks to multiple pregnancies for both the mother and baby. This is the main reason why doctors are very concerned about not taking any risks that could lead to multiple pregnancies. Carrying more than one baby puts pressure on the mother’s spinal cord and in most cases the mother is restricted to bed rest during the last few months of her pregnancy.

Multiple pregnancies can also have adverse effects on the babies. Usually twins have a lower birth weight when they are born. The probability of preterm birth is also higher with multiple pregnancies, which puts the survival of the babies at risk.

Some FAQs

What are multiple pregnancies?

When a mother is pregnant with more than one embryo it is known as multiple pregnancy.

Are twins and multiple pregnancies a common occurrence with assisted reproductive technique?

The probability of multiple pregnancies is higher with IVF pregnancy than in natural pregnancy.

Will multiple embryo transfer lead to multiple pregnancies?

The probability of two or more embryos hatching and implanting depends on the receptivity of the uterus.

How can I avoid multiple pregnancies?

There is no fool proof way to avoid multiple pregnancies. Opting for single embryo transfer is one precaution you can take.

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