We present a case of monochorionic-triamniotic pregnancy that developed after embryo transfer following in vitro fertilization (IVF).
After controlled ovarian hyperstimulation and transvaginal retrieval of 22 metaphase II oocytes, fertilization was accomplished with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Assisted embryo hatching was performed, and two embryos were transferred in utero. One non-transferred blastocyst was cryopreserved.
Fourteen days post-transfer, serum hCG level was 423 mIU/ml and subsequent transvaginal ultrasound revealed a single intrauterine gestational sac with three separate amnion compartments. Three distinct foci of cardiac motion were detected and the diagnosis was revised to monochorionic-triamniotic triplet pregnancy. Antenatal management included cerclage placement at 19 weeks gestation and hospital admission at 28 weeks gestation due to mild preeclampsia. Three viable female infants were delivered via cesarean at 30 5/7 weeks gestation.
The incidence of triplet delivery in humans is approximately 1:6400, and such pregnancies are classified as high-risk for reasons described in this report. We also outline an obstetric management strategy designed to optimize outcomes. The roles of IVF, ICSI, assisted embryo hatching and associated laboratory culture conditions on the subsequent development of monozygotic/monochorionic pregnancy remain controversial. As demonstrated here, even when two-embryo transfer is employed after IVF the statistical probability of monozygotic multiple gestation cannot be reduced to zero. We encourage discussion of this possibility during informed consent for the advanced reproductive technologies.