Twins have always garnered a fair bit of attention. Triplets are even more of an anomaly. Have a set of quintuplets, septuplets or higher numbers of multiples, and you’re guaranteed to have local – if not national – news coverage.
And yet, there’s an inherent issue with multiple births – firstly, they put the mother at higher risk for complications during pregnancy and delivery. Secondly, they put each one of the babies at risks for complications as well. Most multiples are born prematurely and face a much higher rate of health and developmental issues than their full-term, singleton counterparts.
Dr. Celeste Brabec Discusses the Significance of Increased Multiples with KCTV5
Recently, RRC’s Dr. Brabec was interviewed by KCTV5 for a segment on the increasing rates of multiples born in the United States each year. The reason for this notable increase in twins, as well as higher orders of multiples? Aging mothers who participate in fertility treatments – often without the guidance of a fertility specialist.
While IVF can occasionally result in the birth of twins, it rarely results in triplets or more because fertility specialists are very careful about only transplanting one or two embryos in to the womb at the same time. Fertility doctors are also meticulous in the diagnostics used to prescribe non-IVF fertility treatments in order to prevent multiples pregnancies. In the case of pill or injectable fertility medications, Dr. Brabec says there are several high-quality medications out there that have high fertility success rates without the high risk of multiples. These are the meds that should be used the large majority of the time.
However, obstetricians also have the ability to prescribe fertility medications, but they often lack the fertility expertise required to make an official diagnosis and choose/prescribe a fertility medication that limits the chances of multiples.
Depending on a woman’s age, diagnosis (if there even is one) and available egg supply, certain fertility medications can produce a large number of mature eggs at a single time. When paired with IUD, this can result in as many as four or even eight embryos at a single time (remember the Octomom? – that was a product of a non-fertility specialist, prescribing the wrong fertility medication, to the wrong woman.)
The Moral of the Fertility Treatment & Multiples Story?
The moral of the story: If you’re struggling to conceive, it’s important to consult with a fertility specialist who can make sure you receive the right treatment for your specific condition. This will significantly reduce your chances of conceiving multiples.
While multiples’ births may seem newsworthy and charming in their own way – they are not a scenario any fertility clinic would want to create. This is why reputable fertility clinics strive so valiantly to help families conceive one baby at a time.
You can learn more about the subject, and watch Dr. Brabec’s interview on the KCTV5 website.