According to the latest studies in the field, the fact that some women have triplets or higher order twins is the result of the fertility drugs given to them and not the result of having several embryos transferred into their uterus. Although the majority of people point the finger at IVF, the procedure isn’t the main culprit.
The multiple births are caused by fertility drugs such as clomiphene citrate and injectable hormones. As a result the number of multiple births has increased from 36% to 45% between 1998 and 2011. However, the number of multiple births caused by IVF decreased from 48% to 32%.
If a mother has a multiple birth, the risks of complications increase both for the mother and the babies. The complications include cerebral palsy, premature birth, and also developmental delays. According to one of the studies, the number of multiple births has doubled between 1971 and 2011, from 1.8% to 3.5%. Almost in all cases the culprit is a fertility treatment.
Back in the 1990s the obvious cause of multiple births has been the fact that the doctors saw it necessary to transfer several embryos to the uterus of the mother the increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. Starting with 1998 the doctors didn’t accept to transfer more than 2 embryos at one time.
In the past few years the technical advancements made it possible to maximize the chances of a pregnancy even in case of the transfer of a single embryo. This is why the number of multiple births has only increased by 29% between 1998 and 2011 in case of IVF.
Other Fertility Treatments
Although this is good news for both the mothers and the babies, the specialists claim that such measurements ought to be adopted in case of non-IVF treatments as well. The truth is that fertility drugs and easier to use and cheaper than IVF and in many cases they are covered by medical insurance.
Clomiphene citrate is a kind of pill that is often used to increase the chances of women of getting pregnant. Another option is using injectable hormones, such as gonadotropins that can be injected at home as well. All these treatments do is to stimulate the ovaries to produce more than one egg during a cycle. As a result the parents have less control and higher chances of having multiples than in case of IVF.