Neonatal and maternal outcomes comparing women undergoing two in vitro fertilization (IVF) singleton pregnancies and women undergoing one IVF twin pregnancy

Fertil Steril. 2013 Mar 1;99(3):731-7. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2012.11.023. Epub 2012 Dec 7.


Objective: To compare outcomes for women undergoing two in vitro fertilization (IVF) pregnancies with singletons and women undergoing one IVF twin pregnancy. The concept of single-embryo transfer in IVF has reduced the risks of both maternal and neonatal complications, but there is still a discussion of whether or not twins are a desired outcome of IVF.

Design: Registry study.

Setting: Not applicable.

Patient(s): All reported twins after IVF with double-embryo transfer (n = 1,982) and their mothers (n = 991) and all mothers (n = 921) who gave birth to two IVF singletons (n = 1,842).

Intervention(s): None.

Main outcome measure(s): Maternal and neonatal outcomes including severe neonatal morbidity.

Result(s): Preterm birth, very preterm birth, low birth weight, very low birth weight, and small for gestational age were dramatically increased for IVF twins compared with two IVF singletons with the same mother, with adjusted odds ratios from 4 to 16. Significantly higher rates of respiratory complications, sepsis, and jaundice were detected among the IVF twins. Significantly higher rates of preeclampsia, preterm premature rupture of the membranes, and cesarean section were observed for IVF twin pregnancies.

Conclusion(s): The neonatal and maternal outcomes were dramatically better for women undergoing two IVF singleton pregnancies compared with one IVF twin pregnancy after double-embryo transfer. These results support single-embryo transfer to minimize the risks associated with twin pregnancies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apgar Score
  • Congenital Abnormalities / mortality
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro / methods*
  • Fertilization in Vitro / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / mortality
  • Male
  • Morbidity
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pre-Eclampsia / mortality
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology*
  • Premature Birth / mortality
  • Registries
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Single Embryo Transfer / methods*
  • Single Embryo Transfer / statistics & numerical data*
  • Twins / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult