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Multiple Births A Risk of treatment

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					CHESTER FERTILITY & ASSISTED CONCEPTION UNIT


MULTIPLE BIRTH – A RISK OF TREATMENT

Following the introduction of Assisted conception treatment there has been a
dramatic incidence in the incidence of multiple pregnancy, most notably twins
and triplets.

Whilst multiple pregnancies are often seen by couples who have experienced
fertility problems as a blessing, analysis of the birth data has shown that
multiple pregnancies are associated with an increase in problems associated
with pregnant and birth.

The risk of miscarriage and other early pregnancy complications are
increased, as are the risks of prematurity, fetal abnormality, bleeding in
pregnancy and raised blood pressure. Twins and especially triplets are also
more likely to be born with a disability as abnormalities and infant mortality are
much increased in multiple birth babies than those were a single baby is born.
Indeed although still a small figure, the mortality rate with triplets for each
baby is approximately eight times that of a single baby.

The dramatic problems of prematurity and mortality with triplet pregnancies
were so great that legislation was introduced to reduce these risks. From the
1st April 2004 the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has
made it illegal within the United Kingdom to transfer more than 2 embryos in a
cycle of IVF/ICSI. Whilst this will make triplet pregnancy very unlikely there is
still a chance of twin pregnancy which is around 15-20% of couples who
achieve a pregnancy, this figure is reduced with increasing female age. It is
likely that within the next few years a move will be made to transfer only one
embryo per cycle of treatment (at present this is associated with a significant
reduction in your chances of pregnancy). However at present it is sensible to
transfer two embryos if these are available.

Since the introduction of a national 2 embryo transfer policy the risks of
multiple births has dramatically reduced in association with IVF treatment,
however multiple pregnancies including triplets can still occur from treatments
such as ovulation induction with clomiphene gonadotrophins and IUI. For this
reason this unit has taken steps to comply with national guidelines to reduce
this risk. The policy of this unit is to closely monitor with ultrasound all cycles
of ovulation induction and to cancel the cycle of treatment if more than 2
follicles/eggs are created.

The doctors and nurses are happy to discuss any concerns or issues you may
have with multiple births at any stage of treatment.

				
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Description: Multiple Births A Risk of treatment