IVF to beget twins becoming popular

By Thuy An   October 31, 2022 | 12:02 am PT
IVF to beget twins becoming popular
Twin babies born at Tu Du Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Le Phuong
Thu, 30, who has been married for four months, spoke to her husband about using IVF (in vitro fertilization) to have twin babies and "be done with it."

Thu works a demanding schedule as the marketing manager of a real estate firm, typically from 7 am to 9 pm, and manages just five hours’ sleep on some days.

She married late in life when her career was just starting to take off, and she and her husband have discussed IVF to reduce the time it might take for her to become pregnant while also enabling her to have twins.

Her husband, who has a doctorate and is a lecturer at a university, does not want to spend too much time on this either and so agreed with her.

Huong, 28, has spent four years ensuring she had an established job and steady income, and so does not want to marry or have children any time soon.

She has saved around VND150 million ($6,250), enough for IVF and she in fact plans to store her eggs in a hospital so that she does not have to worry about their quality as she grows older. She

But she has not found a suitable facility yet. She plans to become a mother, and have twin babies, in five or six years when her career is more stable.

Dr Phan Chi Thanh of the National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology said cases like Thu and Huong, who wish to give birth to a boy and a girl at the same time and "be done with it," are becoming increasingly common.

He said the mortality rate in double pregnancies increases by around six times, and the rate of complications during pregnancy and delivery by 2.5 times compared to a single pregnancy, and warned against artificially having twins.

Since the 1980s the global twin birth rate has climbed by a third from nine to twelve per 1,000 births, according to a 2021 report published in Human Reproduction, the Oxford Academic magazine of obstetrics and gynecology and reproduction.

With IVF intervention, the chance of having twins or triplets increases by up to 30%.

There is no specific data in Vietnam, but demand for IVF is growing, particularly as more and more women become economically independent and rely on medical interventions to have the children they want.

IVF centers are mushrooming in Vietnam to take advantage of this trend, and charge an average of VND70 million-100 million per case.

In 2017 the number of artificial pregnancies was the highest in Southeast Asia.

In 2019 there were almost 35,000 IVF cases.

Couples formerly had to travel to Thailand and Singapore for IVF, and it costs up to US$50,000.

Dr Pham Thanh Son, an expert in infertility treatment, said couples should try ovulation induction, alter their diet or pick a date for intercourse in order to conceive naturally and "absolutely not exploit science to get pregnant at will."

A healthy person should not get into such a process since it poses a risk and has low success rates, he added.

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