When you're trying to conceive, or TTC, all you want is to see that positive pregnancy test. For women who are considering assisted reproduction, you're probably wondering do fertility drugs cause twins? And you have good reason to wonder that, because it's pretty well-documented that multiple births can arise out of assisted conception. But then the question becomes is IVF, a process where eggs are removed from the woman's body to be fertilized, causing multiples, or are fertility drugs behind multiple births? Or is it a combination of both? As IVF is a relatively new medical procedure, scientists who study reproductive technology are comparing the results of IVF procedures done in the late '90s with those of today in order to give us the latest 411.
You know this, but it's especially important when you're TTC, so it bears repeating. Every woman is different, and some women will go to any lengths to become a biological mom. Others are more squeamish about what they put into their body, and how that substance may shape their future family. Also, you never know how your body is going to react to something based on how someone else's body reacted. The best you can hope for is an educated guess.
There's plenty to learn about reproductive technology, which is exciting for people who want to conceive. In the meantime, there are some things people do know, so have a look and get ready to consult with your physician.
1. Fertility Drugs, Not IVF, Are Top Cause Of Multiples
To answer the question I posed above, scientists have conclusively proven that fertility drugs, not IVF, can lead to multiples. When examining the number of triplets (or more) born between 1998 and 2011, one study found that those born to mothers who took fertility drugs like and injectable hormones rose from 36 percent to 45 percent. In that same time span, births of multiples because of IVF dropped from 48 percent to 32 percent. So there you have it.
2. Doctors Can Monitor The Number Of Eggs To Minimize Risk Of Multiples
There are steps that doctors can take in order to minimize the risk of multiples. CBS reported doctors can use ultrasound and blood tests to monitor the number of eggs being produced and advise couples against trying to conceive that month if there are too many. This would minimize the risk of multiples. However, couples eager to conceive might not always heed the advice, especially when you know there are many viable eggs in the mix.
3. Clomid (Clomiphene Citrate) May Be Linked With Multiple Births
The most common fertility drug, Clomid, is used to help women ovulate and may increase your chance of having multiple births. In fact, Baby Center reported that there's a five to 12 percent chance of having multiples with Clomid. But because clomiphene citrate is covered by most insurance plans, according to NPR, people trying to conceive are more likely to use it than go through IVF, which insurances don't cover.
What does this mean? It means, now you have a list of specific questions to ask your physician and fertility specialist.