Twins with IVF –the risks and benefits
Many couple who undergo fertility treatment to get pregnant end up with twins and sometimes multiple pregnancies. There is a higher risk of multiple pregnancies with IVF treatment. The risk of twin births with IVF is 25% and multiple pregnancies of 3 or more children is 3%.
In a normal pregnancy the chances of twins is around 6%. This too rests on the hereditary factor.If there have been twin births in the family previously then the probability of having twins’ increases. The probability of having multiple births of triplets or more babies with a natural pregnancy is under 1%. If you have three of more babies you make the news.
What is it with the IVF procedure that causes multiple pregnancies? There are a number of factors for this. One major reason is due to multiple embryo transfers during the IVF procedure. When a couple under goes the IVF treatment, a fertilised embryo is placed in the uterus. Within a period of 6-12 days implantation should occur, where the embryo hatches and attaches itself to the uterine lining. Sometimes this does not happen and the embryo dies. This is termed as IVF failure. The couple then have to undergo the IVF treatment all over if they would like to try again.
Due to the high cost of the IVF treatment many couples opt for multiple embryo transfers. Usually 2 or 3 embryos are transferred to the uterus together during the IVF procedure. The reason behind this is the hope that at least one embryo will successfully attach itself to the uterine lining and grow into a foetus.
If the environment in the uterus is conducive the possibility of implantation success is high. Hence if multiple embryos have been placed in the uterus the chances of them all surviving is quite high. This is one leading factor why many women who go through the IVF fertility treatment have twins.
Benefits of having twins
The most obvious benefit of having twins is getting two children with one pregnancy,without having to go through two separate pregnancies and deliveries. Women who had a difficult pregnancy or delivery are happy to get it over with in one go. There and many other benefits to having twins too. They keep each other company,they never feel alone and keep demanding your attention. Moms with single babies find that they have to spend a lot of time ensuring that their baby feels comforted that she is always there. With twins you do not have to look for a playmate for them, they have each other.
The greatest benefit with having twins is that you do not have to pay for another IVF treatment to have another child, unless you want more!
Risks associated with twin pregnancy
Twin pregnancies can increase the risk of complication. However do not fear most mothers with twin pregnancies have heathy babies. Carrying twins can be very taxing on your body and in the third trimester doctors usually advise more bed rest than physical activity for the mother.
The possibility of having a premature delivery is much higher with twins. This may put the babies at risk if they are born too prematurely. The mother needs to take extra precautions during her third trimester to ensure that the babies remain okay. Any strenuous activity can induce labour and hasten the delivery.
When you are carrying twins the chances are that both your babies may be underweight and smaller in size than singletons. It is believed that babies born prematurely and with low birth weight are more likely to face health issues later in their lives.
Mothers pregnant with twins are at high risk for certain medical conditions such as Preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and placental abruption. These conditions do not affect every mother pregnant with twins and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help you have a smooth pregnancy.
Ensuring that you strictly follow your doctor’s advice will help you to minimise twin pregnancy risks.
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