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Why Does IVF Produce So Many Twins?

You got twins, then you must have gone for IVF (In Vitro Fertilasation)! That has become the attitude of the layman towards multiple births which is surely not true. It is interesting to note that a record number of twins via IVF are being produced. As a commoner, we do not know whether parents opt for multiple pregnancies or they happen as a side effect of IVF. If you want to go for IVF, then access all the risks involved with it.

Why does IVF produce so many twins?

There is a very simple explanation for this. Not only IVF, but all fertility treatments increase the chances of multiple births. Under normal circumstances, a single egg matures every month and gets released from your ovary. In very rare cases is this rule violated and if fertilization happens at that time, it results in twins or triplets.

During fertility treatments, the ovaries are stimulated with hormones to release more eggs. The process of extracting these eggs is an expensive and long drawn one. So obviously, they are not going to extract just one egg at a time. As sperms are readily available in large numbers, more than one embryo is formed in the petra dish. Not every embryo will implant in the uterus successfully. Many a times, multiple embryos are implanted in the uterus, so that, at least one implants. The large number of IVF twins are a result of this.

Are there any risks with having IVF twins?

Yes, there are. Ivf is a complex fertility treatment and multiple births have always been complicated. So when you put 2 and 2 together, multiple pregnancy can cause potential problems. There are chances of premature delivery, birth defects and low birth weight. But, IVF is one of the most advanced fertility procedures.

You can easily control the number of embryos you implant into the mother's womb. In fact, a new rule limits the number of IVF twins that every fertility centre can legally produce to 10 per cent of the total births.

What if you do not want IVF Twins?

Usually, when a couple is infertile for a long time, they want to have more than one child at a time. But, if you aspire to have only one child, you can ask your fertility doctor to implant a single embryo into your uterus. It may not implant at once but eventually, you will have a singleton pregnancy when the embryo implants.

Read more about: infertility ivf
Story first published: Tuesday, June 12, 2012, 17:36 [IST]