Navigation Links
Fertility drugs contribute heavily to multiple births

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., JANUARY 2010 -- The widespread use of so-called fertility drugs, not just high-tech laboratory procedures, likely plays a larger role than previously realized in the growing problem of premature births in the United States, because these drugs cause a high percentage of multiple births, the March of Dimes said today.

The organization's comments came in response to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology by authors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the March of Dimes that found controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) drugs -- used to stimulate a woman's ovaries to speed the maturity and multiply the production of eggs -- accounts for four times more live births than assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) such as in vitro fertilization.

"Many people have focused on the role of ARTs in multiples and have not fully appreciated that fertility drugs alone are responsible for one out of every five multiple births," said Alan R. Fleischman, M.D., medical director of the March of Dimes. "COH drugs are widely prescribed, and some health care professionals and their patients -- are not aware of the serious risks of fertility drugs to women and their babies. There is a very high possibility of multi-fetal pregnancy resulting from use of these drugs, and that brings a high risk of prematurity and lifelong health problems for the babies as a consequence."

"The March of Dimes urges more research and leadership from professional societies to develop specific guidelines and encourage acceptance of best practices for the proper use and dosage of fertility drugs, as well as the careful counseling and monitoring of women treated with these drugs. Women who are taking fertility drugs should always ask their doctor what they can do to prevent having a multi-fetal pregnancy," Dr. Fleischman said.

Dr. Fleischman noted that approximately 88,000 babies are born preterm annually as a result of the recent increase of twins, triplets, and other multiple births. About 60 percent of twins, more than 90 percent of triplets, and virtually all quadruplets and higher-order multiples are born prematurely, he noted. In addition to the increased risks associated with multiple birth, studies have also suggested that even infants born singly, but conceived with ovulation stimulation are at increased risk for preterm delivery than naturally-conceived single births, the study authors pointed out.

Dr. Fleischman said it is critical for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and other clinical societies to develop clear guidelines on the use of fertility drugs to help prevent many premature births.

The study found that 4.6 percent of live births in 2005 resulted from fertility drug use, a figure 4 times higher than the 1.2 percent of births resulting from ARTs. A total of 22.8 percent of babies born as multiples were conceived using fertility drugs alone.

The study authors conclude that more than 190,000 infants per year are conceived with fertility drug use, but also say this figure is an underestimate because there is no system for population-based surveillance of births resulting from fertility drug treatment.

"The estimates from this analysis, together with separate published estimates from the National ART surveillance system, indicate that in all, approximately 6 percent of US infants are now exposed to ovulation stimulation treatments," stated Laura Schieve, epidemiologist at the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. "Thus, we must continue to study both the short- and long-term health outcomes among the many women treated and the many children annually conceived with these infertility treatments."

More than 540,000 babies are born too soon each year in the U.S. Preterm birth costs the nation more than $26 billion annually, according to the Institute of Medicine. It is the leading cause of newborn death, and babies who survive an early birth face the risk of lifelong health problems such as breathing problems, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, vision and hearing loss. Even babies born just a few weeks too soon (34-36 weeks gestation, also known as late preterm birth) have higher rates of death and disability than full-term babies.


Contact: Elizabeth Lynch
March of Dimes Foundation

Related medicine news :

1. Acupuncturists Relocation Tightens Relationship With Fertility Clinic
2. Dont just save her life, save her fertility
3. OHSU is part of national effort to preserve, restore fertility in women with cancer
4. World fertility experts to meet in Montreal - IVF and IVM patients to provide first-person accounts at 14th World Congress
5. Bay IVF Experts Launch One of First East-West Fertility Programs of Its Kind
6. UVA researchers find important clue to immune infertility
7. Gene Mutation Key to Infertility in Male Mice
8. The latest about male infertility and testosterone from NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell
9. Diet and lifestyle changes may help prevent infertility from ovulatory disorders
10. Diet, Lifestyle Changes Cut Some Infertility Risk
11. National Infertility Awareness Week Nov. 4-10
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. ... that the organization has awarded Education and Developmental Therapies (EDT), an Applied Behavior ... award celebrates exceptional special needs providers that excel in synthesizing the areas of ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... , ... Lutronic, a leading innovator of aesthetic and medical laser and energy-based ... sale in the United States. Clarity is a Superior Dual Wavelength Platform which ... a single platform that is easy to own and operate. , For over ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... XTC Semifinals 2016 - ... to head to Las Vegas for CES 2016, the world’s largest Consumer Electronic Show, ... Technology Association Gary Shapiro, Founding Partner of Pacific Investments Veronica Serra, and venture capitalist ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Nurotron Biotechnology Co., Ltd., maker ... order to date. , The order will be from the China Disabled Persons’ ... Implant System is an effective solution for children and adults suffering from severe ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... Authorized Technology Provider (ATP) status from Cisco. This designation recognizes Tympani as having ... Unified Contact Center solutions targeted to the high-end enterprise contact center marketplace. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... a leader in intelligent sensors and analytic software for sensor network-based systems, announced the OS-3008 ... of vital signs. Photo - ... ... ... This ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Dec. 1, 2015  ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd. ... Andrew Gengos , President and Chief Executive ... December 3, 2015. Mr. Gengos plans to ... program in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma ... TIME:    12:15p.m. ET/9:15a.m. PT LINK: ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... December 1, 2015 ... addition of the  "2016 Shigella Testing ... Technologies, Competitive Strategies, Emerging Opportunities--US, Europe ...  report to their offering. --> ... addition of the  "2016 Shigella Testing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: