Fertility Treatments Increase the Number of Twin Births

by | January 10th, 2012

According to a recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, the number of twin births has doubled over the last 30 years, in large part because of advancements with infertility treatments. Compared to 1980 when 68,338 twins were born, 137,000 twins were born in the United States in 2009, roughly one in every 30 babies. While approximately a third of this surge is linked to women waiting until an older age to have children, the CDC estimates that the majority of this increase is attributed to infertility therapies such as in-vitro-fertilization (IVF).

Understanding the Risks with Multiples

Although many infertile couples would love to find out they were expecting twins, multiple births come with added joy, but also additional causes for concern. For example, twin delivers can be harder on the mother and babies; typically, twins or other multiples are smaller in size and may be more likely to experience health issues after birth.

Dr. Douglas works to ensure that our patients achieve healthy pregnancies, ideally with one developing fetus. These steps include:

Monitoring patients during fertility cycles

Sometimes, we will utilize ovulation stimulation to improve the odds of conception. If Dr. Douglas prescribes a medication like Clomid, we will carefully choose the dose and closely follow the patient’s progress. For intrauterine insemination (IUI), Dr. Douglas will perform sonograms to look for signs of ovulation. If too many eggs mature at once, he may recommend postponing the cycle.

Following SART guidelines for embryo transfers

The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) has established standards that help fertility specialists determine how many embryos to transfer back into a patient’s uterus. These directives are based on patient’s age, embryo quality, and other factors.

Recommending single embryo transfers

In most cases, pregnancy rates with just one embryo are comparable to those with multiple embryos, but without as much risk for multiples. With preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) technology, Dr. Douglas can select the healthiest embryo to increase the chances of implantation.

At IVF Plano, we understand that your goal is bring home a healthy baby. Our infertility treatments and procedures are designed to help you safely succeed in this endeavor.

For more information, please visit www.ivfplano.com. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Douglas, contact our office.

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