Could IVF Study Mean End of Multiples?


no more multiplesThe end of an era is upon is, ladies. No more Octo-mom, no more Kate Plus 8, and no more risky pregnancies for a huge number of IVF pregnancies. At least if other fertility clinics follow the lead at the University of Iowa where a study found that today women under the age of 38 have just as good of a chance of getting pregnant using one embryo in the transfer as multiple embryos.

Unless you're one of those people who dream about having twins, triplets, or even more, this is fantastic news. After all, women carrying multiples are at an increased risk for diabetes, having premature babies, or babies born with cerebral palsy. Cutting down these risks for women who are already under bodily stress is an admirable goal. So let's hope fertility clinics embrace this idea, and we can all stop looking at moms of twins and wondering what the story is. You know, if you do that sort of thing.

It wouldn't be completely unreasonable, since while IVF only accounts for 1 percent of the births in America, it accounts for 17 percent of the multiple births. So when you're seeing more twins at your pre-school, you would be excused for assuming some of them were the result of IVF. I'm usually wondering how much sleep parents of multiples are getting, but that's just me.

I happen to know a large number of moms who came by their twin babies naturally. Or rather, it was in the family. "Naturally" is a loaded term these days, isn't it? It seems those twin genes are hardcore, or at least they have been in my experience. So while we will still see twins, and even the occasional triplet, the days of mega multiples should end.

Of course that's assuming fertility clinic physicians act ethically. And we know not all of them do that when given the opportunity to super-size a lady's womb. But now, at least, we'll know which doctors are the quacks and which ones have mom's and baby's best interests at heart.

Do you think this policy should be used at every clinic?


Image via Dan Bock/Flickr

infertility, twins & multiples, ivf


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CoolR... CoolRelax

We came by our twins without any fertility treatments.  I can totally understand folks who need a little extra help in that department, but there is something kinda weird about this new fad of designer twins.  Evelyn from Basketball Wives and Chad Ochocinco were seeing a fertility doctor to specifically have a set of twin boys.  o_0 


tinyp... tinypossum

It is definitely the way to go. The best clinics have been pushing single embryo transfer for quiet a while now. When I was first doing IVF over 6 years ago, single embryo was encourged unless the embryo quality was less than perfect. We were told that the rate of pregnancy wasn't really much higher with multiple embryos, just the rate of multiple pregnancy. Even then, they almost never put more than three in unless the embryos were very poor. I had 3 IVF transfers and 3 singleton pregnancies (one miscarriage :-( 

ashjo85 ashjo85

If it's not going to increase your chances of a successful pregnancy, but could possible endanger the pregnancy by making it a high risk case (as it is with all multiples) I think that's absolutely a sound policy. Twins happen in nature as well, this isn't going to end twinning. It's just going to end that expensive, hazerdous burden that could have been avoided, you know?

LKRachel LKRachel

I don't think that would mean the end of multiples like the Gosselins- as I understand it, she underwent fertility treatment that caused her ovaries to release multiple eggs at once and there was a slim chance that it could be LOTS of eggs and that they would all be fertilized and of course that's what ended up happening.  Am I wrong?  or remembering that wrong?  I haven't watched their shows in a long time bc they make me sad, but I thought it was something like that.

jcb1628 jcb1628

All those people with quints or more didn't have IVF. They had IUI, Kate Gosselin has been very upfront about it. No embryos were ever transferred. Thus this will have no impact whatsoever. They took a drug to stimulate ovulation and then were inseminated. That's why octomom was so controversial. Threw majority of clinics flat out refuse to implant more than 2 embryos in women under 35.

tayanna2 tayanna2

IUI will only increase the risk of twins or triplets by a very small percentage (if administered responsibly). I went through 3 rounds of IUI before getting pregnant with my daughter. During that time, I never ovulated more than 4 eggs at one time. The norm was 2.

nonmember avatar Samantha

I think we're also not addressing that splitters (identicals) are much more likely in ivf treatments as well. So while you out in two, you could still get 4.

I think SET are the norm for good embryos but when poor quality embryos are put back, RE's are still going with 4 embys. When those poor quality embryos beat the odds, then you're right back where you were with HOM.

Lesley Rae King

It's true that IUI typically has higher risks of higher-number multiples. We went through 5 cycles of IUI, and I released anywhere from 6-12 eggs, but none of them ever fertilized. Stimulating egg release for our IVF/FET cycles, I think they retrieved 18 the first time and 26 the second! But they weren't all viable, and they weren't all used. We did a "fresh" transfer, then a frozen transfer, each of 2 embryos, when I was 32. Then we did another fresh cycle and finally the frozen transfer (that worked!) of 3 embryos when I was 33. This resulted in twins, BUT twins run very strong in my family anyway, and I didn't have any problems with the pregnancy WHATSOEVER. They were born full-term and full size, no issues at all. We still have 6 frozen embryos that we don't know what to do with, since we conceived naturally (surprise!) when the twins were 10 months old, and hubby says 3 in less than 2 years is ENOUGH! LOL. Anyway, 2-3 embryos do come with risks, but Octomom's case where they transfered 8 embryos was pure insanity. There was no excuse for that whatsoever. IMO.

Kittt... Kittty_Katt

im a twin naturally so it wouldent matter either way..

hutch... hutchfam2007

The problem is that IVF treatments are very expensive. Limiting the transfer to ONLY one as a rule would cause less pregnancies overall. If they are going to force an issue like this, I think they should offer a second cycle with again only One embryo transfer at a discounted rate or free of charge. The reason they do more than one is to raise the chances of a singleton pregnancy, therefore not waisting the potential parents' money.


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