Nov 02 2014

The Increased Risk of Twins for those Undergoing IVF Treatment


Set of newborn twinsInfertility is a problem that often goes undetected until a patient has started attempts at conception. This is a discovery that can be heartbreaking for patients. Fortunately, there are treatments that can help patients address the source of infertility and, possibly, result in a successful pregnancy. For our patients in Lubbock, IVF (in vitro fertilization) helps in each step of the conception process and has helped a great number of our patients achieve their dream of parenthood. Although IVF does involve some minor surgical procedures, it is considered a safe treatment with minimal risks. However, one risk that patients should consider when undergoing IVF treatment is the fact that, if multiple embryos are transferred, there will be an increased risk of twins. This is something that should be considered carefully by patients before IVF treatment begins.

Risks of Twins

During IVF treatment, it is a goal to obtain as many mature eggs as possible so that these eggs can be inseminated, with the hopes of creating a healthy embryo. There is no guarantee of success with IVF treatment and the process is costly, so many patients are eager to increase their chances of a successful pregnancy by implanting multiple embryos. While it is true that the implantation of multiple embryos increases the chances that pregnancy will occur, it also increases the chances of twins. For many patients who have lived with the fear of being childless due to infertility, this may not seem to be much of a problem. However, there are some facts that are associated with twin births that should be carefully considered by patients before making a decision regarding how many embryos will be transferred. Some complications that are associated with twin births include the following:

  • Gestational diabetes: The risk for gestational diabetes increases in women who are pregnant with twins. This condition can increase the risk of birth complications for both the mother and baby.
  • Pre-eclampsia: Pre-eclampsia can result in high blood pressure, protein in the urine, and swelling. This condition occurs twice as often in women pregnant with twins than those pregnant with a single child.
  • Pre-mature birth: Roughly 60 percent of twins are born premature
  • Low birth weight: Twins often are born at a low birth weight, with the average twin weighing around 5 pounds. This low weight can increase risks during childhood as well as increase the risk of long-term health problems.
  • C-section: Women who are pregnant with twins or multiples are more likely to require a caesarian delivery, as natural birth may be difficult.

In addition to the above risks, there is an extra emotional and financial strain when it comes to raising two children at once. Still, some patients feel prepared to undergo the task of raising twins or even look forward to the opportunity. Whether patients are open or opposed to the idea of twins or a multiple birth, this should be discussed with Dr. Dorsett before beginning IVF treatment.

Schedule an Appointment

You do not have to face the hardship of infertility alone. If you are having trouble conceiving, Dr. Janelle Dorsett can discuss your condition and offer solutions that may help you overcome infertility to achieve pregnancy. To learn more about IVF and our other reproductive services, schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience. We look forward to hearing from you!

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The Centre for Reproductive Medicine
Lubbock Office

Address: 3405 22nd St Ste 300
Lubbock, TX 79410

Phone: (806) 788-1212