IUI and Twins: What Patients Should Know

By HCRM on October 13, 2019


Boys and girls baby shoesAt the Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, our team of fertility doctors offer the latest treatments for male and female infertility. Though in vitro fertilization (IVF) tends to be the go-to procedure for many Omaha, NE patients, state-of-the-art artificial insemination treatments such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) have also yielded successful pregnancies and live births.

We receive many questions about IUI’s effectiveness, as well as various factors affecting pregnancy and health. With this in mind, we want to talk about twins from IUI procedures. You may not realize it, but the chance of multiple births always has to be considered when patients undergo IVF, IUI, or any assisted reproduction procedures.

Facts About Twins and Fertility Treatments

According to recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 123,536 twins born in the United States in 2018. The twin birthrate in 2018 was roughly 32.6 twins per every 1,000 births. This is a 4 percent decline from 2014 twin birthrates, and the lowest twin birthrate in the country in more than a decade.

The exact reason for this slight dip remains a point of speculation. That said, a report on these findings from NPR suggests that the reason the twin birthrate has declined is due to improved sophistication in fertility treatment techniques. Indeed, multiple births are more likely in fertility procedures, but improvements have been made over time.

Is There a Higher Chance of Twins in IUI vs. Natural Conception?

Yes.

Given the nature of fertility treatments, the chances of multiple births while undergoing assisted reproduction procedures tends to be higher than natural pregnancies. The combination of washed sperm and fertility drugs means a greater chance of multiple eggs being fertilized during an IUI cycle. It’s something we tell all patients about at our Omaha fertility center.

What About Twins in IVF vs. Twins in IUI?

You may think that twins and triplets are more likely during IVF. Multiple eggs are fertilized and multiple embryos may be transferred during a cycle, which means that twins and triplets are a given.

In fact, there may be a greater chance of twins from IUI than from IVF.

With IVF, fertility doctors have greater control over various factors related to pregnancy. This is because fertilization is done in a lab setting, and variables can be eliminated. With IUI, the chances of fertilizing multiple eggs is more likely since fertility doctors do not have control over the number of eggs fertilized and the number of embryos transferred.

Note the Issues Relates to Multiple Pregnancies

While multiple births are not necessarily bad, they could be more difficult for the mother and the child. Premature birth is more likely when giving birth to twins, triplets, and so forth. This could also mean an increased risk of health issues during pregnancy and following birth. Pregnancy loss is also a tragic factor to consider when dealing with multiple births.

It’s important that we note these potential issues with patients so they understand the treatment process and what risks could be involved.

Contact Our Skilled Fertility Specialists

To learn more about twins, multiple births, and other factors related to assisted reproduction, be sure to contact our skilled team of fertility doctors. The team at the Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine can be reached by phone in Omaha at (402) 717-4200.

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Each and every staff member at Heartland Center is tremendous. Dr. Maclin is a woman of grace, and a terrific medical doctor. She is a world-class surgeon, and we are so grateful to know her.

Lene - IVF Patient

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