Fertility Drugs, not IVF, Now Suspected as Main Cause of Multiples

t_PregnancyMeds_0Dr. Morice offers advanced infertility treatments and tubal reversal surgery to help families realize their dreams of a bigger family. Fertility treatments are a good option for patients who have been diagnosed as infertile. Infertility is diagnosed after 12 months of trying to conceive with no success. There are many causes of infertility, and Dr, Morice will review all causes and treatments available to you if you are interested in treatment.

Because we specialize in infertility treatment, it’s important to share news on fertility treatments. It is a common belief that in-vitro fertilization (IVF) leads to multiples. Being pregnant with multiples is defined as when one or more fetus is carried to full term during pregnancy. However, new data is showing that the number of multiple births caused by IVF has decreased from 48 percent to 32 percent, but those caused by other fertility treatments have increased from 35 percent to 46 percent.


Why has the number of multiple births caused by IVF declined?


In 1998, guidelines were released to discourage the implantation of 3 or more embryos during a single IVF treatment because it was leading to increased multiple pregnancies. Being pregnant with multiples can pose health risks to a mother and her babies, so it should be avoided when possible. This guideline change was very effective, and multiples caused by IVF have declined remarkably. IVF treatment technology has also increased substantially, allowing many successful treatments with just a single embryo implantation.


Which fertility treatments are suspected of causing multiple births today?


IVF still contributes to about 32 percent (down from 48 percent) of the multiple births in the US per year. Other fertility treatments, however, are leading to an increase in multiple births. These drugs will now receive more attention to help further reduce the number of multiples caused by fertility treatments.


Fertility drugs are a more affordable option than IVF for those dealing with infertility. Clomiphene citrate is taken orally and helps stimulate ovulation, often causing more than one egg to ovulate at a time. Hormones, or gonadotropins, can be injected at home that also stimulate ovulation.


How can we control the amount of multiple births?


The number of multiple births caused by IVF is easily controlled by decreasing the number of implantations per treatment. Fertility drugs, however, pose a problem because they are a bit unpredictable in how the body will respond and how many eggs will ovulate. There are already guidelines in place for these drugs, however, and doctors suggest that lower dosages may help reduce the number of multiple births.


Want to learn more about how fertility treatments can help you have a baby? Call our office at (985) 702-BABY or email us at to make an appointment with Dr. Morice.





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