High-Order Multiples (HOM)

Definition - What does High-Order Multiples (HOM) mean?

High-order multiples (HOM) refers to a pregnancy of three or more fetuses. Some fertility treatments may increase the risk of a pregnancy with high-order multiples.

High-order multiples are also referred to as higher order multiples, high-order pregnancy, or higher order pregnancy.

FertilitySmarts explains High-Order Multiples (HOM)

High-order multiples can include a pregnancy with triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets, or more.

Pregnancy with multiples, especially high-order multiples, can pose risks to both the pregnant woman and the fetus. Some problems associated with high-order multiples include:

  • High-risk pregnancy
  • Premature birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Increased emotional and financial stress on expectant parent(s)

Women who have multiple embryos transferred at once are at higher risk of high-order multiples. This is because there is a chance that more than one embryo could implant in the uterine wall.

Advances in fertility treatments have reduced the incidence of high-order multiples. This is because embryos are incubated in better environments and observed more closely than in the past. As a result, higher-quality embryos can be selected for transfer, reducing the need to transfer three or more embryos to obtain one successful pregnancy.

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