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Why Twins are Common in Surrogacy

Mar 31, 2008
If you have been looking into becoming a surrogate mother, and have heard that there is an increased chance of carrying multiples, you may wonder why that is the case.

Twins and even triplets are extremely common in the gestational surrogacy world. Most surrogates who have carried more than once for another family have had experience with multiples at least once.

It all has to do with the process of IVF, and with how many embryos are transferred into the womb of the surrogate mother. The more embryos transferred, the better the chances of multiples.

You see, surrogacy, and IVF itself, is a very expensive procedure. IVF, of course, is the medical procedure which places an embryo created from the sperm of the intended father and the eggs of the intended mother into the womb of the woman who will be carrying the child.

It can cost thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars for each medical IVF transfer. Between that and the medications that cost hundreds of dollars each, costs add up fast.

When you factor into that the fact that many IVF transfers do not result in a single embryo attaching to the womb, it addition to being a financially draining process, it can also be a very emotionally draining process.

So doctors encourage most women to transfer multiple embryos, to give them a higher success rate. It is not uncommon to transfer 3, 4, 5, or even more embryos into a woman.

And each embryo transferred, despite an IVF clinic's success statistics, has a chance to survive and become a child. A surrogate who decides to transfer 6 embryos may end up carrying sextuplets.

A clinic bases its success rates on the patients that have successfully delivered children from an IVF transfer done at their facility. Most of the patients in an IVF clinic are the intended mothers themselves, not surrogates.

These women are experiencing infertility issues that have caused them to seek the help of IVF to begin with.

A surrogate, however, by very definition has no infertility issues. She is completely healthy, with a proven womb. It stands to reason that a surrogate would have a higher chance of maintaining an IVF pregnancy.

Couple this higher chance of success with multiple embryos transferred, and you can easily see why surrogates experience multiples on a regular basis.

Most gestational surrogate mothers are comfortable with transferring two or three embryos at most. They expect that they may get pregnant with twins, and are prepared for the adjustments that will need to be made to their life styles to accommodate twins.

If you are considering surrogacy, and are adamant about only carrying one child at a time, the best thing to do is to seek out intended parents who want the same thing. Then, most importantly, decide to transfer just one embryo at a time.

Keep in mind that this embryo transfer might fail, and you might have to repeat the process multiple times before you are successful. But in the end, a beautiful baby will be brought into the world.
About the Author
Rayven Perkins is an author and two-time surrogate mother. To find out how to become a gestational surrogate mother, or more information on gestational surrogacy, please see her site What is a Gestational Surrogate Mother?
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