How Common is it to Have Multiple Births After Fertility Treatment?


The stress of not being able to conceive can cause serious problems in a relationship with couples blaming themselves or their partner. Some couples can try for years without success and only see a doctor as a last resort or reluctantly agreeing after being persuaded by the other partner. Obviously, fertility treatment can give couples the child that they have always dreamed of, but, of course, there are no guarantees, and the process can become incredibly costly.

If you are considering fertility treatment in Bangkok, it is vital that you go to a respected clinic such as First Fertility. The medical professionals will be able to discuss your circumstances and make appropriate suggestions and recommendations. As a professional clinic, we will also review all the things that you need to be aware of, the preparations that you need to make and what you can do to give yourself the best chance of conceiving. Here are just some of the things that you need to aware of regarding multiple births.

Fertility drugs are designed to cause multiple eggs to develop

We must understand that many fertility drugs are designed to cause multiple eggs to develop. Naturally, the eggs are then harvested to be fertilised with the healthiest of embryos being returned to the female’s womb. In most cases, more than one embryo is returned, which inevitably increases the chances of a multiple births. It is known as a multiple gestation and doctors will often try to control this is a certain degree to maintain the health of the mother and the embryos.

How common are multiple gestations?

As we have discussed, to a certain degree, it is something which is done by design in order to increase the couple’s chances of conceiving a baby. Overall the chance will be determined by the type of fertility treatment which is used as well as how many embryos are returned to the female. Although figures do vary from clinic to clinic, the chance of a multiple pregnancies can be as high as one in three. We strongly advise that you discuss the possibilities of multiple gestations with your doctor.

Are there any dangers posed to the embryo?

Unfortunately, multiple gestations can pose more of a threat to a baby’s health than a single pregnancy, and this is also the case when a woman becomes pregnant naturally. The most common problem is premature birth, and indeed, 50% of twins are born prematurely and 90% of triplets. Although a premature birth doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be any health issues, the chances are increased.

There are several relatively minor problems which occur as well as some more serious ones including issues with the lungs and heart not being healthy enough as well as blood vessels in the brain being weaker and prone to bleeding. With a multiple births, there is always the potential for defects to occur during birth which is compounded if the child is underweight or sick.

Prior to birth, the chances of a child not getting sufficient nutrition are also increased during a multiple pregnancy. The problem is exasperated if the babies share a placenta which can cause one or more of the babies not to get the required nutrients. It can negatively impact on the baby’s development with heart problems often being the result.

Children who are born during a multiple births frequently develop nerve and brain problems such as cerebral palsy. Unfortunately, some issues do not present themselves until several years later when reversal procedures can be too complex and dangerous.

Are there any dangers posed to the mother?

Multiple births can also pose a threat to the mother, and as a result, mothers who are expecting more than one child often undergo more rigorous testing. Problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes and anaemia are relatively common along with low amniotic fluid (the fluid surrounding the baby throughout the pregnancy). Problems with amniotic fluid levels can cause numerous issues with too much fluid causing a risk of premature labour and levels which are too low may mean that the baby isn’t adequately protected. It can mean that the mother has to spend long periods in bed.

If you are due to give birth to more than one child, it will also increase your chances of needing a Caesarean Section. It is where the babies are surgically removed from the mother’s abdomen when the pregnancy has nearly reached full term.

Is there anything that can be done to reduce the chance of a multiple births?

At a professional fertility clinic, the doctors will always monitor the female’s menstrual cycle as when the drugs are administered will be timed relating to scheduled intercourse or insemination. The doctors may postpone a course of treatment if they feel that the chances of a multiple births are too high. Alternatively, they may choose only to return some of the fertilised eggs to the female to reduce the chances of a multiple gestation.

The chances of multiple pregnancy occurring are greatly reduced if only one egg is returned to the female. However, it will also reduce the chances of becoming pregnant. The doctors will discuss this with you in far greater details closer to the time of your treatment. As mentioned previously, the type of fertility treatment that you undergo may also influence your chances of a multiple pregnancy, so some procedures may not be appropriate for you.

Contact Us

Here at First Fertility, we will discuss the best fertility options that are available to you and your partner if you are experiencing difficulties in conceiving. Our specialists will take the time to carefully explain the risk of multiple births and discuss any concerns that you may have. Our helpful and understanding clinicians will evaluate your case and make suggestions which are relevant to you and your partner in a relaxed environment. We recommend that you write down any questions before your appointment.