About 1 in 28 live births in Utah are twins, doctors say infertility treatments a factor

Posted at 10:14 PM, Dec 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-31 09:46:09-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Kamille Chlarson and her new wife Jennifer Ortolani were thrilled when they got pregnant after trying for a year and a half.

“We didn’t ever go to in-vitro, but we did have inner uterine insemination and had fertility medication,” Chlarson said.

When they found it was twins, the news was bittersweet.

“I definitely was worried; I knew that twins was a lot higher risk,” Ortolani said.

In Utah and across the country, there are more moms like Kamille and Jennifer.

This past year, about one in 28 live births in Utah were twins. Compare that to nearly 30 years ago in 1989, when the ratio was one in 46.

Dr. Douglas Richards works in the maternal fetal medicine department at Intermountain Medical Center.

“Twins make a woman very high risk of pre-term birth," he said. "That’s the main concern. About half of all twins are born prematurely."

The trend is primarily driven by the popularity of infertility treatments and the fact that more women are having children later in life.

In Utah, nearly 5 percent of pregnancies are the result of infertility treatment, the highest of the 36 states surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control.

“Many more frequent appointments and a much higher chance of needing a cesarean and a much higher chance of having other complications, so the pregnancy care itself is more expensive,” Richards said.

Kamille did have a c-section, but otherwise, there were no issues.

“I was pretty lucky to not have complications throughout the pregnancy,” Chlarson said.

Baby Austin and her twin brother Jackson are perfectly healthy.

“Yeah, they’re perfect,” Ortolani said.

While the rate of twins is going up, the rate of triplets and quads has gone down, and that’s because doctors are being more careful and strict when it comes to infertility treatments.