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IVF-ICSI and Multiple Pregnancies: Risks and Precautions in the UAE

16 Oct, 2023

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In vitro fertilization (IVF) with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) has revolutionized the field of reproductive medicine and enabled countless couples to overcome infertility. While IVF-ICSI has significantly improved the chances of achieving a successful pregnancy, it also carries a unique risk - the potential for multiple pregnancies. This blog will explore the risks associated with multiple pregnancies in the context of IVF-ICSI in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and provide insights into precautions and strategies to mitigate these risks.

1. Understanding IVF-ICSI

1.2. IVF-ICSI in the UAE

The UAE has witnessed substantial growth in the field of assisted reproductive technology, making IVF-ICSI widely accessible. In IVF-ICSI, mature eggs are retrieved from the woman's ovaries and fertilized in a laboratory by injecting a single sperm directly into each egg. The resulting embryos are then transferred into the woman's uterus, where they may implant and develop into a pregnancy.

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3. Risks Associated with Multiple Pregnancies

Multiple pregnancies, which include twins, triplets, or even higher-order multiples, can occur with IVF-ICSI due to the transfer of more than one embryo. Multiple pregnancies are associated with increased health risks for both the mother and the babies.

3.1 Maternal Risks

- Preterm Birth

Multiple pregnancies are at a higher risk of preterm birth, which can lead to complications for both the mother and babies.

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- Gestational Diabetes and Hypertension

The chances of developing gestational diabetes and hypertension are increased in multiple pregnancies.

- Caesarean Section

Multiple pregnancies often necessitate a caesarean section, which carries its own set of risks.

3.2. Fetal and Neonatal Risks

- Low Birth Weight

Babies from multiple pregnancies tend to have lower birth weights, which can lead to health issues.

- Neonatal Intensive Care

There is a higher likelihood of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions for babies from multiple pregnancies.

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3.3. Emotional and Financial Stress

- Emotional Stress

Multiple pregnancies can be emotionally taxing for the parents, as the challenges and risks are multiplied.

-Financial Stress

The cost of medical care and potential NICU stays can significantly burden families.

4. Precautions:

4.1. Single Embryo Transfer (SET)

SET involves transferring only one high-quality embryo to reduce the risk of multiple pregnancies. This approach is encouraged in the UAE and has shown success in maintaining a balance between successful pregnancies and minimizing the risks.

4.2. Pre-Implantation Genetic Testing (PGT)

PGT allows for the selection of embryos with a reduced risk of chromosomal abnormalities. Using PGT with a single embryo transfer can increase the chances of a healthy singleton pregnancy.

4.3. Counselling and Informed Decision-Making

Patients should be educated about the risks of multiple pregnancies and encouraged to actively participate in the decision-making process. They should understand the potential consequences of transferring more than one embryo.

4.4. Expert Guidance

Seeking treatment at a reputable fertility clinic in the UAE that follows best practices and employs skilled professionals is crucial. Expert guidance can help tailor the treatment to individual needs and minimize the risks of multiple pregnancies.

4.5. Healthy Lifestyle

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition and exercise, can help mitigate some of the risks associated with multiple pregnancies.

4.6. Ongoing Monitoring

Close monitoring of the pregnancy, especially in the case of multiples, is essential. Regular check-ups and ultrasounds can help identify and address potential issues promptly.

5. Tips for Managing a Multiple Pregnancy in the UAE

Discovering that you are expecting twins, triplets, or more can be both exciting and overwhelming. Managing a multiple pregnancy, especially in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where healthcare standards are high, involves some specific considerations. Here are some tips to help you navigate this unique journey:

5.1. Seek Early and Comprehensive Prenatal Care

Early and regular prenatal care is essential for the well-being of both the mother and the babies. In the UAE, healthcare facilities are renowned for their quality and expertise. Make sure to select a reputable healthcare provider who specializes in multiple pregnancies. They will closely monitor your progress, addressing any issues that may arise.

5.2. Follow a Nutritious Diet

Proper nutrition is crucial for supporting the growth and development of multiple babies. Work with a registered dietitian or nutritionist to create a well-balanced meal plan tailored to your specific needs. This may include increasing your caloric intake and consuming a variety of nutrient-rich foods.

5.3. Stay Hydrated

Maintaining adequate hydration is vital, especially in the UAE's warm climate. Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and ensure optimal blood flow to both you and your babies.

5.4. Rest and Manage Stress

Getting enough rest and managing stress are essential for a healthy pregnancy. The UAE's healthcare system often emphasizes mental health support. Consider enrolling in prenatal yoga classes, meditation, or relaxation techniques to help manage stress and ensure you get enough sleep.

5.5. Educate Yourself

Knowing what to expect during a multiple pregnancy can help you make informed decisions and reduce anxiety. Attend prenatal classes or seek guidance from healthcare providers to better understand the specific challenges and milestones associated with carrying multiples.

5.6. Prepare Financially

Raising multiples can be more expensive than raising a single child. Plan your finances accordingly, considering expenses like medical bills, childcare, and education. Ensure that you have adequate health insurance coverage to meet the needs of multiple pregnancies and births.

5.7. Understand Local Maternity Leave Policies

Familiarize yourself with maternity leave policies in the UAE. Knowing your rights and responsibilities as a working mother will help you make the necessary arrangements to balance work and motherhood during and after your pregnancy.

5.8. Discuss Delivery Options

Multiple pregnancies may require a different approach to delivery. Discuss your options, such as vaginal birth or cesarean section (C-section), with your healthcare provider. The UAE's healthcare system is well-equipped to handle complex deliveries.

5.9. Network with Other Parents of Multiples

Connecting with other parents of multiples in the UAE can provide a valuable support system. Sharing experiences and advice with those who have gone through similar situations can be reassuring and helpful.

5.10. Maintain Open Communication with Your Healthcare Provider

Maintain open and honest communication with your healthcare provider throughout your multiple pregnancy. Discuss any concerns, symptoms, or changes in your condition promptly. The UAE's healthcare system emphasizes patient-centered care, ensuring that your concerns are addressed.

Managing a multiple pregnancy in the UAE involves high-quality healthcare and support systems. By following these tips and seeking professional guidance, you can increase your chances of a healthy and successful journey to parenthood with multiples in this thriving and progressive country

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IVF-ICSI is a fertility treatment that involves the retrieval of eggs and the injection of a single sperm directly into each egg in a laboratory. The resulting embryos are then transferred into the woman's uterus.