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Fertility Drugs Contribute Heavily to Multiple Births
Date:6/16/2010

and Gynecology at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences School of Medicine at New Orleans.

"A doctor's goal when prescribing fertility drugs is one healthy baby," said Dr. Dickey. "Doctors should not hesitate to cancel ovulation stimulation cycles and to tell their patients to avoid trying to get pregnant if an ultrasound shows there are too many eggs present in a cycle and the risk of multiples is high. "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.  Also, the March of Dimes said a system is needed to monitor how many multiples births are caused by fertility drugs and to hold professionals accountable to industry guidelines. Women who are taking fertility drugs should always ask their doctor what they can do to prevent having a multi-fetal pregnancy.

About 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. 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 birth than naturally conceived single births, the study authors pointed out.

The March of Dimes 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
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SOURCE March of Dimes
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