While there is some debate swirling around whether or not doctors should promote the creation of IVF twins, some say that this is actually an economical approach to family planning.
For many couples who have spent thousands of dollars and (literally) years of their lives waiting for a baby, often times the prospect of twins is a welcomed notion.
Dr. Norber Gleicher, medical director at a top IVF New York center, recently told Slate Magazine that twins are actually a common request that he receives from his patients prior to an IVF treatment. “The majority of my patients want twins,” he said. “The older they are, the more they want them. And the longer they’ve been trying to get pregnant, the more they want them.”
The problem, however, is that some people feel that the risks of an IVF twin pregnancy are too great to the mother and fetus an therefore should not be encouraged. Twin, or higher order multiple pregnancies, have increased risks for maternal complications such as gestational diabetes, hypertension, heart stress, placental problems and more. In addition, the babies are more likely to be born prematurely, experience birth defects, and are even at a higher risk for SIDS within the first month of life.
While these arguments certainly pack a punch against promoting twins, Dr. Gleicher and his colleague Dr. David Barad argue that they do not necessarily apply to IVF twins. Unlike normal twin pregnancies, which occur in roughly 1% of the population, IVF twins are monitored from the moment of conception allowing both the mother and baby to receive a high level of prenatal care. This type of early care, they argue, reduces complications of IVF twin pregnancies by up to 40%.
In the United States a single IVF cycle costs, on average, $12,500, and even in the best of circumstances women have less than a 50% chance of this resulting in a child. Many couples often find themselves spending tens of thousands of dollars just to have one child. Therefore, for the sake of finances, couples who want more than on child may find that it is actually more economical to try for IVF twins in a treatment cycle.
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