Can one transferred embryo become twins?

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4 fertility expert(s) answered this question

Answer from: Raúl Olivares, MD

Gynaecologist, Medical Director & Owner Barcelona IVF
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Yes, definitely, yes. This is something that has nothing to do with the treatments. A single embryo can split in two and even three. I remember a case in which we had a single embryo transfer, and the patient got pregnant with identical triplets. That is very uncommon, and probably we see it twice or three times a year at the most. This is something that happens after the embryo has been transferred.

Depending on when this division takes place, you may have babies that are identical with the same placenta and the same sac. If the division takes place after these initial steps of the pregnancy, the embryos can be in different sacs in the same placenta, and in very strange circumstances, they may even have two sacs and two placentas, and in an extreme situation, it could be the Siamese twins in which the embryos are still linked by the belly, brain or something like that.

As I’ve said before, that’s something that can happen in any case. It is not related to the fact of having an IVF or any other ART treatments.

Answer from: Harry Karpouzis, MD, MRCOG, DIUE

Gynaecologist, Founder & Scientific Director IVF Pelargos Fertility Group
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Yes, we can transfer one embryo, and we can have twins. The chances for this to happen are very slim, though. Usually, the twins that we get from the transfer of one embryo are called identical twins and by the medical definition, they are called monochorionic twins. The chances for that are pretty low, though.

Answer from: Ali Enver Kurt, MD

Gynaecologist, Specialist in Obstetrics & Gynecology Vita Altera IVF Center
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Answer from: Rami Wakim, MD FRCOG FACOG FICS

Gynaecologist, Consultant in Reproductive Medicine Phoenix Hospital Group
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About this question:

What is the average number of twins from a single embryo transfer?

At what stage does an embryo split into twins? Can a 5-day blastocyst become twins? Why single embryo transfer (SET) during IVF sometimes results in twins?

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