A slew of articles recently released by major publications like the Washington Post, MSNBC, Businessweek, and HealthDay News highlight the CDC’s recent report revealing the rise in twin births in the US.
According to the report, there has been a 76% increase in the birth of twins since 1980. Experts contribute the upward trend to women waiting to have children, as the chance of having multiples increases after 30, with much of the rise being attributed to fertility treatments.
As these articles point out, and we here at New Hope have argued time and time again, the rise in multiple births is not among the healthier “trends” to which fertility care specialists should be contributing. Rather, multiple births suggest fertility care specialists and their patients are opting for multiple embryo transfers as they undergo fertility treatments, which only put the mother and child in more danger if they are to become pregnant with multiples. Multiple pregnancies often coincide with an array of difficulties that put both mother and child at risk; and it should be noted that “more than half of [all] twins are born with low birthweight” (source: HealthDay News).
The upward twin trend should inspire more fertility doctors to advise their patients about the dangers of multiple births that can result from multiple embryo transfers and encourage single embryo transfers (SET). Some may argue that patients prefer the “faster” track of conventional IVF, which commonly involves hyperstimulation to increase the woman’s chances of producing viable eggs; however, when it comes down to the long-term health of the mother and child, single embryo transfers and minimal stimulation protocols such as Mini-IVF™ offer a much safer alternative to conventional IVF protocols. We believe if more patients were educated on the health and cost effectiveness of single embryo transfers and minimal stimulation options, the twin trend could be controlled, resulting in healthier pregnancies and therefore healthier children.
You can read more on our single embryo transfer protocols here.