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Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2004 Dec;44(6):510-3.

Outcome of pregnancies achieved by in vitro fertilisation techniques and diagnosed as twins at the 6 week ultrasound.

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Monash IVF, Monash University, Richmond, Victoria, Australia.



To bring the success rate of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedures to an acceptable level, multiple embryos have historically been replaced. This has resulted in an 'epidemic' of multiple births. The pendulum has now swung full circle and the number of embryos transferred is now being limited. Such high numbers of IVF twins will not be produced in the future.


To review retrospectively the outcome of a series of pregnancies achieved by IVF where the 6 week ultrasound showed the presence of two sacs.


Retrospective study in a university IVF programme that produced 746 IVF pregnancies with twins at 6 weeks of gestation (1991-1999).


The main outcome measures were perinatal mortality, pregnancy outcome, gestation at delivery and obstetrics complications reported. Interestingly, by 20 weeks gestation, 184 (24.7%) of pregnancies spontaneously reduced to a singleton, whereas 49 (6.6%) lost both twins. Of the 513 (68.8%) viable twin pregnancies (>20 weeks), 154 (20.6%) went on to term (>37 weeks), whereas 250 (33.5%) delivered between 33 and 36 weeks gestation. The perinatal mortality per 1000 births was 6.5 over 37 weeks, 8.0 for 33-36 weeks, 41.7 for 29-32 weeks and 500 for under 28 weeks.

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