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The Challenge of Multiple Pregnancies

Chapter

Abstract

It is usually believed that a high-multiple pregnancy rate is the price to be paid for an acceptable success rate following assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment, which is physically and emotionally demanding as well as expensive. Although many twins are healthy and neonatal medicine has tremendously advanced in decreasing mortality and morbidity of premature multiples, the high absolute numbers, as well as the increase in costs for multiple pregnancies, deliveries, and neonatal care, put a major burden on ART treatments. Multiple pregnancies significantly increase both maternal and foetal/neonatal risks and complications, and need to be avoided, also from an ethical point of view. In IVF (in vitro fertilization), single-embryo transfer (SET) together with a good cryopreservation program, is the only way to prevent twins and high-order multiples. In non-IVF fertility treatments care must be taken not to hyperstimulate patients and take unnecessary risks.

Keywords

Multiple pregnancy Twins IVF Assisted reproduction Single-embryo transfer 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Reproductive MedicineUniversity Hospital GhentGhentBelgium

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