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New push to lower twin birth rate

Updated: Thursday, January 16 2014, 12:35 PM EST

by Alexis Arnold

Rochester, N.Y. - Society has a fascination with twins. You could say mainstream media and Hollywood had a hand in that.

“There is a romantic view about twins,” said Dr. Bala Bhagavath with Strong Hospital’s Fertility Clinic.

Dr. Bhagavath said the hospital is on par with national numbers for multiple births. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention 46% of in vitro fertilization babies are mainly twins.

The idea of a pair may sound like a match to ensure a pregnancy; doctors say the outcomes may not be ideal.

"Twin pregnancies lead to two sets of problems,” Dr. Bhagavath said. “One is they can get their mother into trouble during pregnancy itself.  There’s a higher chance of high blood pressure, diabetes, also higher chance of delivering preterm."

It can also increase chances that one or both infants end up in the ICU or have other health problems.

That’s the reason behind a push among doctors to transfer one embryo at a time through IVF.

"Single term is the best. Having one baby at a time is absolutely the most healthy way to have children,” Dr. Bhagavath said.

It's a procedure that can cost thousands of dollars but doctors say through chromosome testing and freezing embryos, it can have the same success rate as if you transferred two embryos.

"In other countries, what they do, they consider the success in one batch of eggs, if you got embryos and if you transfer them and the patient doesn't get pregnant, you thaw those frozen embryos and put them back, the success is equal,” said Dr. Bhagavath.

New push to lower twin birth rate


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