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How Can Multiple Gestation Pregnancies Being Avoided with IVF

  • Category: IVF
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While many couples wonder if they elect for in-vitro fertilization they’ll make headlines and become the next “Octomom,” the reality of IVF patients carrying multiples, especially higher than 2, is much lower than it was in the past. Still, it’s a well-known fact that many women who have undergone in-vitro fertilization (IVF) have had twins or higher-order multiple births. But why? The truth is that while multiples are more common among women undergoing IVF treatment, there have been significant technological advancements made in previous years. These advancements have allowed fertility doctors to do elective single embryo transfers rather than implanting multiple embryos and taking the gamble that one or more will result in a full-term pregnancy.

However, women who have more than one embryo transferred pose a risk for having multiples. Most women who elect IVF treatment would prefer one healthy child and are advised to transfer a single, properly selected embryo, especially because a multiple pregnancy is undesirable for many couples. Reproductive and fertility specialists currently recommend transferring no more than 2 embryos in women older than 35 to maximize the patient’s odds of getting pregnant.

Another reason doctors advise against implanting more than one embryo is that multiple pregnancies have more associated adverse risks both for the mother and the developing baby. These complications include increased risk of higher blood pressure, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and many others. One common risk among women who carry multiples is premature birth, lower birth weight, a higher risk of early death, and the necessity for a Caesarean section birth.

At Palm Beach Fertility Center, we use single embryo transfer based on the embryo quality and patient criteria. This is called blastocyst culture. These are embryos that have developed for at least 5 days and have begun hatching from their outer shell by the 6th or 7th day, and then they are ready to be implanted into the lining of the female patient’s uterus. According to 2017 guidelines from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the appropriate maximum number of embryos to transfer for a woman over 35 is 3 or fewer. If there are multiple favorable embryos, they can be frozen for another IVF treatment for future pregnancies.

Contact Palm Beach Fertility Center to Learn More About IVF Treatment

At Palm Beach Fertility Center, we are your partners in helping you build a family of your own. We have advanced reproductive technology to help you get pregnant and carry a healthy baby to term. To learn more, please reach out for an appointment with our fertility specialist, OB/GYN Dr. Mark Denker.

Interested in learning more about IVF treatment and the benefits and risks? We are here to help. To contact Palm Beach Fertility Center, please call (888) 819-5177 or contact us online for a swift reply.