Where Have All the Triplets (And Quadruplets, and Quintuplets) Gone?

April 29, 2016

(STAT News) – Data released Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the rate of triplet and higher-order births dropped 60 percent for women over the age of 25 from 1998 to 2014. The biggest decline was in women 45 and older, where the rate of these births is just a third of what it once was. The rates did not change significantly for women under the age of 25. That curve mirrors a trend in reproductive technology. The rise in higher-order multiples peaked in 1998 when implanting four or more embryos was a common practice. As various parts of IVF improved through the latter part of the 20th century, these implantation rates were increasingly driving multiple births.