Oct 28

IUI and the Chance of Twins

Posted on October 28, 2019 — by Joseph E. Martin, M.D., FACOG

Two pairs of baby shoesIntrauterine insemination, or IUI, is one of the trusted and conservative fertility treatments offered at the Fertility Center of San Antonio. During the IUI procedure, concentrated sperm is introduced directly to the uterus. By placing sperm so close to unfertilized eggs, we increase the chance of pregnancy for patients dealing with infertility.

Although IUI is a safe fertility treatment with impressive success rates, patients need to be aware of the potential risks or side effects of this technique. One concern that commonly comes up among our San Antonio, TX, patients is how IUI affects the chance of having twins. Here, patients can learn more about IUI and the risk of a multiples pregnancy.

Potential Complications of a Twins Pregnancy

Fertility treatments address common causes of infertility to give patients a greater chance of becoming pregnant. One commonly known risk of most fertility treatments is a multiples pregnancy. While many see a multiples birth as somewhat of a bonus, there are medical risks associated with a multiples pregnancy, including:

  • Premature labor
  • Low birth weight
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Preeclampsia
  • Placental abruption

Does IUI Make a Twins Pregnancy More Likely?

Prior to undergoing IUI treatment, it is important for our San Antonio patients to understand what will happen during treatment, and how their specific fertility treatment plan may affect the chance of twins or a multiples pregnancy.

To perform an IUI procedure, we monitor a woman’s ovaries and follicle growth, and keep track of luteinizing hormone levels, to determine when ovulation occurs. On the procedure day concentrated sperm (which has been washed in our laboratory) will be inserted into the uterus via a flexible catheter.

On its own, IUI does not increase the risk of twins. IUI brings sperm close to a woman’s eggs so that fertilization is easier, but it does not alter any other part of ovulation or conception. The chance of twins is just the same for a couple undergoing straight IUI treatment as it is for a couple who is conceiving naturally.

Fertility Drugs and Twins

There is an important exception with IUI treatment In many cases, our doctors recommend that women use fertility medications to stimulate the ovaries and increase egg production prior to IUI treatment. While IUI alone will not increase the risk of twins, the use of fertility medication does make it more likely that patients will have a multiples pregnancy. If a woman releases multiple mature eggs at ovulation, it is more likely that more than one egg will be fertilized, thus resulting in twins or multiples. Our doctors will discuss this risk with our patients and help them determine whether fertility medication is a good option for their IUI treatment plan.

Schedule an Appointment

IUI is one of many fertility treatments that are offered at the Fertility Center of San Antonio. If you would like to learn how our fertility services can help you realize your dream of becoming a parent, call (210) 692-0577 at your earliest convenience to schedule an appointment with our fertility specialists.

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