Twins or triplets from fertility treatment? When one at a time is enough


In our daily contact with clients, we hear their concerns about all aspects of their process.
No surprise – to most, this is their first time taking this journey.

One concern we often hear, is what if they get twins or triplets from fertility treatment.

Most clients imagine one baby, and even though twins are a blessing, to some, the responsibility seems overwhelming. 

​In the past, the chances of having twins through in vitro fertility treatment were much higher than with a conventionally conceived pregnancy. It used to be common procedure to place three or four embryos in the uterus to increase the odds of pregnancy.

Decrease twin pregnancies
One of Denmark’s top biologists, Karin Erb, who is director of the fertility clinic at Odense University Hospital, has done much research on this exact topic: In 2016, her results were published in collaboration with The Danish Health Data Board.

The research shows that back in 2006, 25 % of pregnancies through IVF and ICSI resulted in twins. This number was down to 8,4 % in 2015. Clearly, there is a significant decline in twin pregnancies!

“It’s so amazing. We have achieved the same high chances of pregnancy, but at the same time managed to decrease the high number of twins” Karin Erb in an article.

A major reason for the decrease is that in 1997, The Danish fertility society (Dansk Fertilitetsselskab) set a limit of maximum 2 eggs at a time, and in 2005 they recommended that only one embryo is placed in the uterus, if the woman is under 35 and has no medical issues – the so-called single embryo transfer (SET). 

Risks when you carry more than one 
Many people, doctors included, talk about the risk of having twins, not the possibility, which may sound like there is something wrong with having twins. This is not the case. The reason is simply that a twin pregnancy has much higher health risk than a 1-child-pregnancy:

The risk of premature delivery is ten times higher with a twin pregnancy compared to a pregnancy with one fetus. Premature births can cause death to the baby, as well as neurological damages, hearing problems, poor eyesight and lower IQ.

But as the recent study shows, there is no reason to worry too much about a surprise twin-pregnancy, just because you are having fertility treatment.

Need our help?
We are always ready to help, so if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you are curious about what to expect when starting fertility treatment with the use of donor sperm, we highly recommend that you begin your journey by reading our 8-step guide.

//posted by Stinne, Client Service Manager at European Sperm Bank