Running head: HORMONES AND MULTIPLE BIRTHS Hormones and Multiple Births Student’s Name University Affiliation
HORMONES AND MULTIPLE BIRTHS Introduction Multiple births usually occur when more than one fetus is formed from a single pregnancy. The prior pregnancy before the multiple births is the multiple pregnancies (Cooper, 2011). Multiple births can be classified according to the number of the resulting fetus. Twins are as a result of the formation of two fetus, triplets result from the formation of three fetus whereas quadruplets are as a result of the formation of four fetus. There are other higher orders of birth resulting from the formation of the multiple fetuses. The twin birth rate according to the United States Department of Health has increased by over 75% since 1985 whereas that of of triplets, quadruplet and other higher multiple births order has increase at a higher rate. According to this department, the increase in multiple births is as a result of infertility treatment that women receive, which carry a risk of multiple pregnancies. Though major medical advancements have improved the results of multiple births, these births are still associated with medical risks and complications for the children and the mother. Causes of twinning Monozygotic twins result when a single fertilized egg splits into two after conception. The subsequent twins are identical and genetically alike with the same hair, sex and blood type. Dizygotic twins are as a result of two fertilized eggs and are no more genetically alike than the singleton siblings. Trizygotic twins are formed from three fertilized eggs whereas Quadra zygotic twins are formed from four fertilized eggs (Clay & Clay, 1989). Fraternal twins are born due to the presence high levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) in the body of the mother. The FSH stimulates the growth and development of the eggs. The mother of fraternal twins tend to have increased height, weight and earlier start of the
HORMONES AND MULTIPLE BIRTHS menstrual cycle. All these are hormone related elements. As the woman ages, the level of Follicle Stimulating Hormone rises naturally hence the reason as to why multiple birth is common in older women of around thirty five years compared to young women (Jackson, 2009). Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) such as embryo transfer and donor insemination can also result to multiple births. During these processes, ovulation stimulants such as clomiphene citrate, bromocriptine and gonadotropin-releasing hormones leads to the release of multiple eggs. In addition to the effects of the hormones in causing multiple births, multiple pregnancies can also result due to frequent intercourse. Having frequent intercourse can lead to multiple pregnancies. Multiple births is also prevalent in women who have short menstrual cycle whereas it is lower in those who have irregular menses.
- Spring '16