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Fertility Facts vs Fertility Myths: What You Need to Know

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Updated September 15, 2013

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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Myth: If You Use IVF, You'll End Up Like Octomom.
Fertility drugs increase your risk of having twins, triplets, or more.

Fertility drugs increase your risk of having twins, triplets, or more.

Image: Craig Smallish / Getty

Infertility Myth: If you use IVF, you'll end up like "Octomom".

Fertility Facts: The reasons stories like Nadya Suleman, a.k.a. "Octomom", make the news is because they are uncommon.

Plus, Suleman's doctor transferred 6 or more embryos at once. This is way beyond the American Society of Reproductive Medicine's recommended limit of one or two embryos per cycle, for women younger than 35.

Of all the fertility treatments, IVF treatment may be the least likely to lead to high order multiples. According to a European study, which included about 400,000 treatment cycles, 78.2% of successful IVF cycles resulted in a singleton, 21.0% led to a twin pregnancy, and only 0.8% led to triplets. (Notice no quads, and certainly no octuplets, were found in this study.)

Gonadotropins, like Gonal-F and Follistim, used either alone or along with IUI treatment are more likely to lead to higher-order multiples. Some report that up to 33% of treatment cycles using gonadotropins lead to triplets, quadruplets, or (rarely) more.

(By the way, "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" used IUI treatment along with gonadotropins to conceive their septuplets.)

More on fertility drugs and their risks:

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