Yes, it is possible you could get pregnant with twins following in vitro fertilization (IVF). Anytime multiple embryos are transferred during an assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedure, the chance for having multiple births exists. However, most pregnancies achieved by IVF or other ART are single pregnancies (about 70 percent). In addition, the transference of one embryo does not necessarily guarantee you can’t have twins since identical twins could occur with IVF.
How Could You Have Twins with In Vitro Fertilization?
Following ovulation induction with drugs meant to stimulate hormone production, eggs are removed from the ovaries and then fertilized with sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryos developing after being fertilized are allowed to mature a few days before being transferred to the uterus.
Embryos are transferred to the womb during the blastocyst stage or the cleavage stage. Blastocysts (embryos reaching optimal growth) develop a week after fertilization while cleavage stage embryos are about three or four days old following fertilization. If the procedure is successful, embryos implanted in the uterus will then initiate an actual pregnancy within six to 12 days.
How many embryos you chose to have transferred is ultimately up to the patient. However, you and your doctor will discuss certain factors (woman’s age, ovarian reserve, embryo quality) that may necessitate the need to implant multiple embryos to increase the chance of pregnancy.
Early Indications of a Twin Pregnancy
You may discover early in your pregnancy you are carrying twins if your hCG levels are higher than normal or you have a positive pregnancy test before missing your first period. Human chorionic gonadotropin is made by placenta cells to nourish the egg following implantation in the uterine wall. Blood tests can detect hCG within 10 days of conception. Another early sign of a twin pregnancy is having your AFT test show high levels of fetal proteins.
If you are interested in learning more about IVF or other assisted reproductive technology, please call New York Reproductive Wellness today to schedule an appointment.