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Twin Pregnancies From Assisted Conception Are No More Risky Than Those Resulting From Spontaneous Conception

February 24, 2004
American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Over the past two decades, the number of multiple births in the US has increased dramatically. Twins are by far the most common multiples, accounting for 94% of all multiples born each year.

Multiple gestations are harder on mothers and babies than singleton pregnancies, exposing them to greater risks for preeclampsia, low birth weight and premature birth. To determine whether the circumstances of twins' conception (assisted or spontaneous) might have an impact on the level of risk, researchers at four academic medical centers monitored 2,567 twin pregnancies between 1990 and 2000. Spontaneous conceptions accounted for 2,143 of the pregnancies, while 424 were the result of assisted conception.

They found that assisted conception did not contribute to an increased risk of adverse outcomes for twins. However, among all the pregnancies monitored- assisted and spontaneous- first-time mothers had a higher incidence of preecalmpsia.

"It's encouraging to see that method of conception does not affect the progress or outcome of twin pregnancies. But twin pregnancies are riskier than singletons, so these mothers should be carefully monitored," commented Marian Damewood, MD, President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

(Luke et al, Risk factors for adverse outcomes in spontaneous versus assisted conception twin pregnancies, Fertility and Sterility, Vol.81, No.2, February 2004.)

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