High rate of twins from IVF treatment a worry, doctors say

The high rate of twins from IVF and other treatments is alarming, posing risks to both mothers and babies.
Dong Jun

Dr Huang Hefeng, president of Shanghai International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital, delivers a speech on the medical conference in Shanghai today.

The incidence of twins in China's IVF centers is a staggering 30%, much higher than the natural occurence of twins at just 1%, which can cause more risk to both pregnant women and babies, experts told a medical forum in Shanghai today.

Experts are pushing health authorities to strictly regulate the implantation of more than one embryo during IVF technology to ensure the safety of mothers and fetuses, while improving the health and life quality of children.

“The natural rate of twins is only 1 percent, while the high twin rate due to IVF and some people’s blind use of ovulation stimulation drugs is very unhealthy,” said Dr Huang Hefeng, president of Shanghai International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital. 

“Being pregnant with twins or more fetuses can lead mothers to contract anemia, pregnancy-induced hypertension and diabetes, as well as other risks during delivery and postpartum hemorrhage, while babies can suffer premature delivery, low birth weight and other complications and defects which are shown along with growth," she added.

She said the authority should regulate the age of couples receiving IVF services as well as the number of embryos implanted. “Single embryo implantation is prevalent in Western countries to protect the health of mothers and children,” she said. “The rules in China are too vague."

Experts added that doctors should promote single embryo implantation now that the government has allowed all couples to have two children, and since IVF technology has developed quickly to now ensure a higher success rate. "It is unnecessary to receive multiple embryo implantation now.”

Dong Jun

The establishment of a new research center on obstetrics and gynocology was announced during the conference.

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