Risks of Multiple Pregnancy
There are pregnancy problems that can be more likely with a multiple pregnancy.
Risks of multiple pregnancy may include:
- Reference Miscarriage Opens New Window of one or more babies (fetuses).
- Reference Gestational diabetes Opens New Window.
- High blood pressure and Reference preeclampsia Opens New Window.
- Reference Anemia Opens New Window.
- Increased chance of Reference cesarean delivery Opens New Window.
- Increased chance of giving birth before 37 weeks (preterm birth), which poses greater risks of illness, disability, and death. For more information, see the topics Preterm Labor and Premature Infant.
- Having a baby born with a birth defect that occurs when something is wrong with the genes or chromosomes. Certain genetic disorders may be more likely to occur in multiple pregnancies.
Multiple pregnancies conceived by the use of Reference assisted reproductive technology (ART) Opens New Window may have a greater risk of certain pregnancy problems.Reference 1 Talk to your doctor about the risks related to your treatment.
Your chances of having a multiple pregnancy
In the general population, less than 3 out of 100 births involve twins, triplets, or more.Reference 1 Your chances of conceiving a multiple pregnancy increase when you use fertility drugs and Reference assisted reproductive technology (ART) Opens New Window.
Currently, about 20 out of 100 multiple pregnancies occur naturally, while the other 80 out of 100 are the result of using fertility drugs or assisted reproductive technology.Reference 2 The majority of these pregnancies are twins, but there are also more triplets (or more) than in the general population.
When assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as IVF, is used, the risk of conceiving a multiple pregnancy is directly related to the number of embryos transferred to a woman's uterus. Because of the risks of multiple pregnancy to the babies, experts recommend limiting the number of embryos transferred.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference December 7, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology