Twins: a frequent wish
Twin gestation increases the possibility of pregnancy-related risks
The wish to conceive is often accompanied by the excitement of possibly giving birth to twins. It is more likely that this wish will be fulfilled if assisted reproductive techniques are used, since it is possible to transfer more than one embryo with in vitro fertilisation treatment, in all cases based on the doctor’s recommendation.
The main objective of transferring more than one embryo is not to conceive twins but to increase the possibilities of becoming pregnant. However when more than one embryo is transferred, there is a greater chance of having more than one baby.
“The purpose of assisted reproduction is to conceive a healthy child”, says Dr. María Jesús López, Assisted Reproduction specialist at Eugin Clinic. “When a woman thinks of having twins, she imagines how nice it would be to have two babies at home without considering the specific aspects of this type of pregnancy”, she adds. “All pregnancies have certain risks”, affirms Dr. López, “but in the case of twin gestation, these risks increase, and so it is necessary to evaluate each case before the embryo transfer”.
“Today, the habitual monitoring of twin gestation makes it feasible from the medical standpoint, continues Dr. López. “But the best option is still a single pregnancy”, she adds.
A maximum of 3 embryos
The Spanish legislation permits the transfer of a maximum of 3 embryos to a woman in assisted reproductive treatment. The doctor could recommend the transfer of up to three embryos in women over the age of forty who use their own eggs, since the risk of a multiple birth is extremely low.
Chances of getting pregnant
The probability of getting pregnant after assisted reproductive treatment depend not only on the number of embryos transferred, but on the quality of the woman’s eggs, which is directly related to her age.
“At all events”, concludes Dr. López, “after examining the woman’s history, the doctor will recommend the number of embryos to be transferred, depending on each case”. If there is no medical contraindication for twin gestation, the mother-to-be and her partner (if she has one) will decide whether one or two embryos should be transferred.