In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) has made parenthood possible for countless individuals and couples around the world. Yet, if you’re considering IVF to overcome fertility issues, you might wonder, “What are the chances of twins with IVF?”
After all, one baby at a time might already sound like a handful. So, let’s explore this question further. Does IVF lead to an increased likelihood of twins? What should you know?
Types Of Twins
There are two types of twins: identical and fraternal. Both types can occur naturally or through IVF, but the circumstances and probabilities differ.
Identical twins occur when a single fertilized egg (zygote) splits into two separate embryos. These twins share the same genetic material and are always of the same sex. The exact cause of the split is unknown, and it appears to happen at random. In the context of IVF, this split can occur after an embryo transfer, resulting in identical twins.
Fraternal twins occur when two separate eggs are fertilized by two separate sperm. These twins are genetically distinct, like any other siblings, and can be of the same sex or different sexes. In IVF, fraternal twins can occur if more than one embryo is transferred and each implant develops into a pregnancy.
What Increases The Chances Of Twins
Several factors can increase the chances of having twins, including:
- Genetics: A family history of twins, especially on the mother’s side, can increase the likelihood of twins.
- Age: Women over the age of 30 are more likely to release more than one egg during ovulation, which can lead to fraternal twins.
- The number of previous pregnancies: Women with multiple previous pregnancies are more likely to conceive twins.
- Use of fertility treatments: Fertility treatments like IVF and ovulation-stimulating medications may increase the likelihood of twins, with women who undergo IVF statistically having a higher rate of twins than women who conceive naturally.
Does IVF Cause Twins?
IVF doesn’t necessarily increase your chances of having twins. However, it can increase the chances of twins if multiple embryos are transferred, which, depending on your situation, may be done to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. At the same time, each transferred embryo has the potential to split into twins. Yet, the odds are higher due to the factors discussed above and are not particularly common.
How To Get Twins With IVF
The most common way to increase the chances of having twins through IVF is by transferring multiple embryos. However, this practice is becoming less common as fertility clinics move towards single embryo transfer (SET) due to the increased risks associated with multiple pregnancies. It’s always important to discuss this decision thoroughly with your fertility specialist.
If you’re acquainted with assisted reproductive technologies (ART), such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other fertility procedures like intrauterine insemination (IUI), you might be aware that they may increase the likelihood of conceiving twins.
IVF involves the use of fertility drugs. However, one of the primary factors influencing the likelihood of twins in IVF is the number of embryos chosen for transfer.
While some couples opt to transfer only one embryo, which might potentially split into identical twins, this scenario is less probable. More commonly, the transfer of two or more embryos can result in fraternal twins, assuming both embryos successfully implant and develop.
While the IUI procedure does not enhance twins’ probability, associated fertility drugs can. Medications like Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) and letrozole (Femara), which stimulate ovulation, may encourage the release of multiple eggs simultaneously. If two or more of these eggs are fertilized and implanted, it could result in a twin pregnancy.
Carrying multiple babies is automatically considered a “high-risk” pregnancy by healthcare professionals due to the potential complications, such as an elevated risk of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. However, this does not imply that a twin pregnancy cannot be healthy; it simply necessitates closer monitoring.
Many factors that can heighten the probability of conceiving twins are beyond your control. Yet, assisted reproductive technologies could offer the greatest control if you’re determined to have twins. However, current recommendations advise younger women to transfer only one embryo per IVF cycle for optimal results.
We strongly advise consulting your doctor, or specifically your reproductive endocrinologist if you’re undergoing fertility treatments, about the prospect of twins. They can provide you with information about any risks specific to your situation and whether a multiple-embryo transfer with IVF could be a feasible option for you. Connect with our ELITE IVF fertility specialists here.
IVF Twins Rate
As of September 2021, the twin birth rate through IVF was approximately 20-30% when two embryos were transferred. However, this rate can vary widely depending on several factors, including your age and health, the quality of the embryos, and the specific practices of the fertility clinic.
IVF Identical Twin Rate
The rate of identical twins with IVF is less common and less predictable, as it relies on the random splitting of a single embryo. As of 2021, some estimates suggested that IVF might slightly increase the chances of identical twins compared to natural conception, with identical twins occurring in approximately 1-2% of IVF pregnancies.
Remember, while the idea of twins may seem appealing, multiple pregnancies come with increased risks, including preterm birth and low birth weight. It’s essential to have a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider about the potential risks and benefits before deciding on your course of treatment.
For more information on IVF, IUI, and other fertility options, contact us at ELITE IVF. Together, we can help you find a solution and expand your family.