The mere mention of fertility treatments usually causes anyone within ear shot to comment on your odds for multiples, such as twins, triplets, or reflect on Octo Mom (remember her?), offering opinions, citing examples, and basically getting in your business. You already know and probably understand that multiples are a risk in many fertility treatments. But, not all treatments are the same.
Because lots of couples, or individuals, are waiting longer to begin a family, there are increased odds you’ll need the intervention of fertility experts, like LA IVF. In addition to a mother’s (and father’s) age, there are a multitude of reasons people seek fertility intervention when trying to conceive. And, just as there are individual reasons for infertility, there are several different methods and treatments that can help you become pregnant. Some are more prone than others to increase your odds of having twins, or even more.
Causes of Twins Without Fertility Treatment
Let’s first look at the odds, and reasons, people conceive twins naturally. These odds can also raise your chances when undergoing treatment. In other words, with or without fertility intervention these circumstances will possibly lead to multiple babies:
- Family History: You’ve probably heard that twins run in families. This is partially true. Those with a family history of fraternal twins (non-identical) have a greater chance of conceiving twins. If both mother and father carry a history of non-identical twins, the chances go up. Fraternal twins, from the mother, occur when more than one egg is released in a cycle. The father ups the ads of twins due to a high production of sperm.
- Weight: Women of a higher weight are more likely to have multiples. Excess fat increases levels of estrogen in the body, which stimulates egg production.
- Race: African Americans tend to have a greater chance of twins, over Caucasians. Asians are least likely to have multiples.
- Breastfeeding: While breastfeeding suppresses fertility, it doesn’t completely prevent your opportunity to become pregnant. In fact, becoming pregnant while breastfeeding increases your odds of conceiving twins.
- Reproductive Age: The risk of having twins naturally increases with reproductive age. This is in contrast to twin rate with fertility treatments which actually decreases with advanced reproductive age. Interesting huh?
Which Fertility Treatments Increase the Odds of Twins?
Fertility intervention does, in fact, increase your odds of having multiple babies. Dr. Bayrak will discuss your odds as you go over the possible treatment plans. Low-dose fertility meds, careful monitoring, and single embryo transfer, are some of the ways multiple babies can be avoided.
All fertility medications may slightly increase your odds for twins, however some have a much higher rate than others. Clomid and Femara are two very popular and common fertility medications. They have the lowest rate of twins, increasing your odds to 5-10%. Injectable treatments known as Gonadotropins, have been noted to increase your odds of multiples by as much as 30%.
IVF is a much more controlled intervention for conception. However, in the case of twins, IVF does up your odds. In order to have a successful IVF pregnancy, it’s necessary for the embryo to attach itself, and grow, inside the uterus. In the past, in an effort to improve the outcome, more than one embryo was usually implanted in the course of IVF which increased the odds of twins. In today’s practice, only one embryo placed in most reputable clinics. LA IVF is certainly one of them as their single embryo transfer rate is over 90% now, thus the triplet rate is almost zero and twin rate is very low. All good.
There are Risks Involved
While conceiving and carrying twins, triplets, or more, may seem like a blessing, especially when you’ve been trying for a baby so long, it does come with risks to both mom and babies. Carrying multiple babies is difficult on your body. The extra load can increase your odds for such pregnancy-related risks as gestational diabetes, pregnancy-related hypertension, and preeclampsia.
Your odds of miscarriage and pre-term birth are also increased. Placental abruption, and fetal growth restriction become greater when you carry multiples. For a healthy pregnancy, and successful delivery, it’s best to plan on conceiving and giving birth to one baby. However, if twins do occur, you want to make sure you and your babies have the healthiest pregnancy possible. That begins with exceptional care.
Exceptional Care at LA IVF
At LA IVF we provide the finest in fertility treatments. Dr. Aykut Bayrak is an expert in the field of reproduction, and will strive to ensure the very best outcome. LA IVF has three offices to serve you, located in the greater Los Angeles, California area. If you’re seeking the best in fertility treatments, please contact LA IVF for more information.