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

Introduction: In this article, we’ll explore the likelihood of multiple births after fertility treatment, the associated risks for both the mother and the embryos, and the methods used to minimize the chances of a multiple gestation. We’ll also delve into the professional guidance and support available at respected fertility clinics, such as First Fertility, to help you and your partner navigate this important decision. Let’s delve into the complexities of fertility treatment and the potential for multiple births.

The Emotional Impact of Fertility Challenges

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.

Supportive couple embracing each other.

Supportive couple embracing each other.

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.

Understanding Multiple Births and Fertility Treatment

Here are just some of the things that you need to be 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 fertilized 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 multiple births. It is known as a multiple gestation and doctors will often try to control this to a certain degree to maintain the health of the mother and the embryos.

Understanding the Likelihood of 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 multiple pregnancies can be as high as one in three. We strongly advise that you discuss the possibilities of multiple gestations with your doctor.

Potential Dangers of Multiple Gestations

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 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 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.

Risks and Considerations for Multiple Births

Multiple births can pose a threat to the mother, leading to more rigorous testing for mothers expecting more than one child. Common problems include high blood pressure, diabetes, anemia, and issues with amniotic fluid levels. Low amniotic fluid can put the baby at risk, while high levels can lead to premature labor, requiring the mother to spend extended periods in bed.

Expecting more than one child increases the chances of requiring a Cesarean Section for delivery. This surgical procedure is often needed when the pregnancy is nearing full term.

Managing the Likelihood of Multiple Births

Professional fertility clinics closely monitor the female’s menstrual cycle to time the administration of drugs in relation to scheduled intercourse or insemination. Treatment may be postponed if the risk of multiple births is deemed too high. Alternatively, the option to return only some of the fertilized eggs to the female may be chosen to reduce the chances of a multiple gestation.

  • Monitoring menstrual cycle at fertility clinic
  • Timing drug administration
  • Postponing treatment if risk is high

Effect of Fertility Treatment on Chances of Multiple Births

The likelihood of a multiple pregnancy is greatly reduced if only one egg is returned to the female. However, this reduction also affects the chances of becoming pregnant. It’s essential for doctors to discuss these details with the couple closer to the treatment date. Certain fertility procedures may not be suitable due to their influence on the chances of a multiple pregnancy.

Consulting Fertility Specialists

We emphasize the importance of consulting fertility specialists when considering the best options for couples facing conceiving difficulties. Our specialists thoroughly explain the risks of multiple births and address specific concerns. With a focus on individual cases, our clinicians suggest relevant strategies in a supportive environment.

Feel free to note down any questions before your appointment for a more productive discussion.

Conclusion: Understanding the risks and implications of multiple gestations is essential for anyone considering fertility treatment. It’s crucial to seek guidance from a reputable clinic and have open discussions with medical professionals. The potential challenges faced by both the mother and the baby in a multiple pregnancy should not be overlooked. Professional advice and careful consideration of options can help navigate the complexities of fertility treatment and minimize the risks associated with multiple births.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it common to have multiple births after fertility treatment?

The chance of multiple pregnancies can be as high as one in three, depending on the type of fertility treatment used and the number of embryos returned to the female. It’s essential to discuss the possibilities of multiple gestations with your doctor.

2. Are there any dangers posed to the embryo in a multiple gestation?

Multiple gestations can pose more of a threat to a baby’s health than a single pregnancy, often leading to premature birth and various health issues such as lung and heart problems, along with a higher risk for defects during birth.

3. What dangers do multiple births pose to the mother?

Multiple births can pose a threat to the mother, leading to more rigorous testing for problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, anemia, and complications with amniotic fluid levels, often increasing the chances of needing a Cesarean section.

4. Can anything be done to reduce the chance of multiple births?

Doctors may monitor the menstrual cycle and adjust the timing of drug administration to reduce the chances of multiple births. They may also choose to return only some of the fertilized eggs to the female or select procedures that are less likely to result in a multiple pregnancy.

  • Published on : Wednesday April 22, 2020
  • Last updated : Monday July 1, 2024
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About the author

Michelle Tan is an IVF Consultant with 12 years of experience in fertility consulting. Having personally undergone IVF and surrogacy, she brings firsthand insight and empathy to her work. Based in Singapore, Michelle frequently travels to clinics in Bangkok, Phnom Penh, and Bishkek, sharing her expertise and supporting patients on their fertility journeys.