Multiple Pregnancy Is Risky
Some who have struggled with infertility see having twins as a way to build their family quickly. However, multiple pregnancy (pregnancy with more than one fetus) carries the increased likelihood of serious, even life-threatening complications for both mother and babies. The goal of fertility treatment is one healthy baby at a time.
To read more about the risks of multiple pregnancy, click on the links below:
- Multiple pregnancy and birth: twins, triplets and high-order multiples a patient education booklet
- In vitro fertilization: what are the risks? a patient education fact sheet
- Why would I choose to have elective single embryo transfer (eSET)? a patient education fact sheet
- Why are we worried about twin pregnancies? A CDC patient education pamphlet
- How many embryos should I transfer to have one baby? A CDC patient education pamphlet
- CDC-Elective single embryo transfer video
The rate of (non-identical) twin birth has increased dramatically over the last 30 years due, in large part, to assisted reproduction treatment (ART) such as IVF. In the early days of ART, 3-4 embryos were usually placed into the mother’s uterus in hopes of having a single baby. As the field of assisted reproduction has matured, we have gotten better at IVF and learned more about how to achieve pregnancy efficiently. As our techniques and understanding improved, fewer embryos at a time have been transferred, but the twin rate remains high.
The best way to decrease your chance of having twins, triplets, or more when having IVF is by transferring one embryo at a time.
To see what the Practice Committees of the ASRM and SART recommend, click on the links below:
- Multiple gestation associated with infertility therapy: a committee opinion
- Guidance on the limits to the number of embryos to transfer: a
- Blastocyst culture and transfer in clinical-assisted reproduction: a committee opinion