by Corey Whelan
A new report issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control indicates a significant increase in the number of twins born to American women over the last thirty years. Currently, one in every 30 infants born in the U.S. is a twin, representing a 76% increase from 1980 through 2009. .
Infertility treatments and advanced maternal age are the two reasons given for this statistical spike. According to the report, "Three Decades of Twin Births in the United States, 1980-2009", twinning rates rose for women of all ages but was most marked among women aged 40 and over. In this population and across all states, twinning rates increased by more than 200%.
Twin pregnancies are typically more arduous for both mother and babies. Complications to the mom can range from mild to severe and include miscarriage and pre-term delivery, high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. Complications to the twins include cerebral palsy, autism, premature birth and developmental delays. These additional medical issues can also create substantial finanical hardships for families.
According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), the objective of infertility treatment should be the birth of a single, healthy child. SART guidelines for numbers of embyros transferred can be found here.