Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is it possible to have twins from IVF?"
I want a child but just one. I am trying IVF and am worried we may have twins. Is this justified?
The type of doctor that specializes in in-vitro fertilization is an obstetrician who has done additional training in the field of IVF. I encourage you to speak with your obstetrician about the chances that you will have twins if you undergo IVF. The chance of having twins after using in vitro fertilization is higher the chance of having twins by vaginal intercourse. Couples who use in vitro fertilization provide a number of oocytes (eggs) and sperm, which are mated in laboratory conditions. The goal is create multiple fertilized eggs in the lab, and then to implant those fertilized eggs into the woman's uterus. Multiple fertilized eggs are implanted in the uterus, rather than just one fertilized egg, since there is a good chance that the fertilized egg will not undergo successful implantation. Thus, to increase the chances of successful implantation of one fertilized egg, more than one is implanted. The other side of the coin is that several of the eggs may successfully implant, producing twins if 2 implant and triplets if 3 implant, and so on. The twins that result from the method described above are not identical twins, but rather fraternal twins. The distinction is that identical twins arise from one fertilized egg that splits in two, and thus they have the same genetic material. With IVF, if two embryos successfully implant, then you will have two babies at the same time but they will not be identical--and can even be different sexes. Please consult your obstetrician for any further concerns regarding IVF.
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