Twins and Multiple Birth Rates

11 August 2014

With the recent safe arrival of the gorgeous Flaherty twins under Dr Stokes care at The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital Buderim (conceived naturally) we have reviewed the multiple birth rate statistics in Australia.

According to the Australian Multiple Birth Association, families with multiples represent 2% of the Australian population. Many people have attributed the increase in multiple birth rates over the last few decades (24% higher in 2012 than in 1991) to the use of fertility drugs and assisted reproduction technology, however in recent years this has turned around.

In 2012, just over 1.4% of registered births were multiples - 15.3% lower than in 2001.

Dr Stokes says “in recent years the technology has advanced and our management to avoid multiple birth as a result of IVF has improved significantly”. A world-first study of cumulative success rates of IVF (by Elizabeth Sullivan, Professor of Perinatal and Reproductive Health at the University of New South Wales), reports that fewer high-risk IVF multiple births are occurring in Australia.

The natural conception rate for multiple births is 1-2%, and Coastal IVF has a multiple birth rate of less than 6%. “This is quite a good result given the average rate of multiple deliveries in recent years has been 7-10%”.

Figures reported are from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the Perinatal Statistics Unit.