Getting pregnant does not come naturally for some couples, who may turn to fertility treatments to aid in conception. Many couples use fertility drugs to increase chances of conception. However, the use of many fertility drugs can increase the chances of a multiple-birth pregnancy, such as twins, triplets or quadruplets.
Many fertility drugs cause multiple follicles, or eggs, to be released during a woman's ovulation. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, when multiple follicles are produced, one in three successful pregnancies will result in multiple births. Multiple risks are associated with multiple births, such as premature birth, low birth weight and developmental problems. While using fertility drugs, your doctor will monitor your cycle; if you are producing too many eggs in a given cycle, she may advise against conception for the month.
Clomiphene citrate, sold under the brand names Clomid or Serophene, is often the first drug used to treat infertility, according to Web MD. Clomiphene citrate is taken orally to help women ovulate regularly. It works by causing the pituitary gland to release follicle-stimulating hormones and luteinizing hormones. These hormones signal the ovary to release follicles. Risk of multiple births is lower with clomiphene citrate than with injectable hormones and, according to Cigna, 5 to 8 percent of women who use clomiphene citrate become pregnant with multiple babies.
Human chorionic gonadotropin is an injectable hormone that stimulates ovulation and promotes the maturity of normal eggs. Human chrorionic gonadotropin, which is sold under the brand names Pregnyl, Novarel, Ovidrel and Profasil, can cause multiple eggs to be released, which increases the risks of a multiple-birth pregnancy.
Human menopausal gonadotropin is an injectable fertility drug used for women who don't ovulate regulalry. Sold under the brand names Repronex, Pergonal and Metrodin, hMG is used to treat women whose pituitary gland does not release follicle-stimulating hormones and luteinizing hormones to initiate ovulation. This drug contains both follicle-stimulating hormones and luteinizing hormones, so hMG bypasses the pituitary gland and directly stimulates the ovaries. It can stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple follicles, thus increasing the chances of multiple-birth pregnancy.
Follicle-stimulating hormone is an injectable fertility drug used to stimulate the production and maturity of follicles. It is sold under the brand names Follistim, Fertinex, Bravelle and Gonal-F. The use of an injectable follicle-stimulating hormone increases the chances of multiple-birth pregnancy because of the stimulation of multiple follicles, or eggs, that can be fertilized.