FOX 34 Weather Authority: Flood Warning expires at 4:51 PM on 9/22, issued at 6:04 PM Dunn, TX | Fluvanna, TX | Hermleigh, TX | Ira, TX

Infertility expert: Risk of twins worth toll "In Vitro" can take

Set Text Size SmallSet Text Size MediumSet Text Size LargeSet Text Size X-Large
Share
Updated: 12/27/2013 9:55 am
Pregnancy is now a dream within reach for those who have trouble with conception thanks to advances in assisted reproduction. But as recent reports have shown, doctors are facing a catch-22 when it comes too many moms birthing two babies at once.

Reproductive Endocrinologist Dr. Jennifer Phy said a woman's chances of spontaneously birthing twins is about one in 100. That is, without modern reproductive medicine.

According to the CDC, the number of twins doubled in 2009 compared to 1980.

"Anytime you're increasing a couple's chance of conceiving, you're probably increasing a couple's chance for multiple births because that's sort of how the treatment works," Phy said.

Fertility drugs can increase a woman's chance of multiple births, usually twins, to one in 10, she said. And with In Vitro Fertilization, the chances are higher.
 
"The risk could be 50 percent."

Many factors are considered before a couple reaches this step.

"Sometimes, patients have diagnoses that will not permit them to become pregnant without more sophisticated treatments. So if there's a problem with a gentleman's sperm count, or if a woman's fallopian tubes are closed or not functional, then that family may be immediately committed to In Vitro Fertilization."

With IVF, a woman is given medication to help make eggs. Most physicians will obtain 10 to 15 eggs and fertilize them, Phy said.

"And a certain percentage will fertilize and begin developing in the laboratory. And then you may result in just a few embryos that are healthy and available to that couple to transfer to the mom's uterus, in hopes of having a baby."

Typically doctors will transfer two seemingly healthy embryos, in hopes that a least one succeeds.

"I think with physicians who are helping people to conceive, one healthy baby is always the goal. We want it to work because the patients are investing everything. Their time, and their emotions, and discomfort from shots, and life savings. So many times with In Vitro, you'll transfer the two best embryos."

Because IVF can cost anywhere from $7,000 to $25,000, many families welcome the idea of twins. But they can pose several risks.

"The greatest risk is pre-term delivery. So if a baby is born too early, it may not have proper eye development or lung development. There may be a prolonged hospitalization in the neonatal intensive care unit."

Dr. Phy said another option for families wanting a single embryo (to avoid the risks associated with twins) is genetic testing of the embryos.

"And now there are advances, there are scientific techniques that can be performed where you can screen and embryo and know if it's genetically normal or not."

Because some oppose these screenings on ethical grounds, Phy said she feels many couples will still opt for a multiple embryo transfer, despite the so called "twin epidemic." Fortunately, more twins means doctors and hospitals are getting even better at caring for them.

Share
0 Comment(s)
Comments: Show | Hide

Here are the most recent story comments.View All

No comments yet!
Lubbock Weather
68°
Mostly Cloudy

Wind: ENE 9 mph
Feels Like: 68°
High: 77°
Low: 64°
Latest Product Recalls
Ford recalls hybrid SUVs to fix stalling problem
Ford is recalling about 74,000 older-model gas-electric hybrid SUVs in the U.S. and Canada to fix a stalling problem.
Toyota recalls pickups to fix air bag problem
Toyota is recalling about 130,000 Tundra full-size pickup trucks because a plastic trim piece can interfere with the side air bags.
Spiders force Suzuki to recall midsize cars
Spiders have forced Suzuki to recall more than 19,000 midsize cars.
California firm recalls Caesar salad kits
A Southern California food company has recalled nearly 93,000 pounds of fully cooked chicken Caesar salad kits sold at Sam's Club stores over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
Hewlett-Packard recalls 5 million AC power cords
Hewlett-Packard Company is recalling about 5.6 million notebook computer AC power cords in this country and another 446,700 in Canada because of possible overheating, which can pose a fire and burn hazard.
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.
Mobile advertising for this site is available on Local Ad Buy.