Multiples - too worried, or not worried enough?


I’d like to ask what the REAL odds are of of multiples, based on peoples’ experiences. My wife and I are on our second round of trying with assistance of an RE. At the time of IUI, she had four main follicles (18, 17, 13, 13) and the doctor seemed pretty concerned. I’ve tried finding info online about the true odds of multiples, but there’s so much conflicting information… We’re young (she’s 26, i’m 24), so I know that the odds are better for us than for someone in their late 30s, but I still think the odds of multiples are pretty low/negligible. My wife is rather worried about triplets or quads… Of course, we’ll take it as it comes, but I’ve read only about half of follicles have a good egg, and each egg only has a 20% chance of fertilizing and implanting. Then there were other stories of two follicles making fraternal triplets, and four follicles with no pregnancy! All I want is a happy, healthy family - whether it’s one baby at a time, or more. I’d like to help reassure my wife that it’s not likely we’ll have too many at once (or whether I’m the one who’s wrong and should be worried). I don’t want to bug the doctor and seem like a smart-alec, he might just tell me to stay off the internet and let things happen as they happen.


It really depends on the infertility diagnosis. For my DH and I, even though we are both in our 20s, we were told iui would not work for us, no matter how many eggs we got. We were only given a 1-2% chance of conceiving on our own each month (for “normal” couples it is around 20%).


I REALLY wanted twins. (Pretty obvious by my username…) I transferred 2 PGD normal embryos. These were chromosomally normal embryos that were given the highest quality “grade” on the embryo grading system. I was told I had a higher chance of twins because we transferred 2, AND they were both normal. (We humans make a lot of abnormals, and most people who do IVF don’t do PGD, so they don’t know what they’re putting back is normal). I am pregnant with one baby. I know women who have had twins from IUI, and many others who have had several failed IVF cycles where 2 or more embryos were transferred. You just don’t know. If you REALLY only want one baby, try IVF and transfer one at a time. Or, just leave it up to God :wink:


unjour - I’m so sorry to hear you’ve got such low odds… are you having to go straight for IVF? We’re lucky in that regard - the RE thinks one of these IUIs is bound to work eventually. We’ll probably give it six tries or so before thinking about other options (IVF or adoption) hopingfortwins - It’s just so hard for me to wrap my mind around having two good embryos, but only one sticking. I hope your pregnancy goes well and that your little one is healthy. Isn’t it crazy how we get all these percentage odds from our REs regardging “normal” fertile people, yet women still get randomly pregnant from one-night stands, or get pregnant without really trying? So frustrating sometimes!!!


I figure an update is in order - She just went in for the post-IUI ultrasound and booster HCG shot. Only two of the follicles ruptured, so no multiples from this try! We’re both relieved, and hope one of these takes.


There is more risk of having multiple babies is increasing with the I VF treatment and also with the drugs used at the time of infertility treatment. There are about 30 to 40 percent of infertility drugs leads to multiple births of triplets at the time of IVF. This is directly related to the practice of transferring multiple embryos at embryo transfer.
Multiple births are related to increased risk of pregnancy loss, obstetrical complications, prematurity, and neonatal morbidity with the potential for long term damage.
Currently, after IVF and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) around 16% of pregnancies are multiples, compared with only 1–2% after natural conception.
This can be directly related to more than one embryo being transferred during IVF and ICSI.

  • If two separate embryos implant in the womb, the mother will be pregnant with non-identical twins.
  • The chance of a single embryo dividing and resulting in identical twins is also higher after IVF, particularly after blastocyst transfer. However it is not yet known why this happens. So it is possible to end up with twins from the transfer of a single embryo, or triplets from two embryos.
  • Data from the UK (2013) shows that almost 15% of babies born as a result of IVF to women under 35 (using fresh eggs) are multiple births.
  • Although HFEA guidance states that the numbers of embryos that can be transferred is no more than two for women under 40 (or for those receiving donated eggs as donors are under 35) or no more than three for women over 40, the aim for all patients should be to have a single healthy birth.
  • Because of this all clinics must now have a strategy to minimize the risk of a multiple pregnancy, by using elective single embryo transfer where appropriate.


the previous reply is very detailed I would just say that I have also seen some articles about multiples after ivfs and although the authors said that there is such a thing but it is not that common.
Well, at least even though in my clinic they transfer 3 embryos almost each time there are multiple pregnancies but it really depends on the quality of the embryos that were transferred and on your overall health state. Well, at least you always have the opportunity to ask your dr to transfer 1 or 2 embryos but the chances of multiples are not increasing or decreasing considering a number of embies transferred, well, not that drastically