Multiple Pregnancy Update: Issues Following Assisted Reproductive Techniques

  • Lisa J. KnightEmail author
  • Lisa A. Joels
  • Myles J. O. Taylor


Multi-fetal conceptions are the single most important determinant of pregnancy and long-term outcomes for both the mother and baby and these risks increase exponentially with the number of fetuses. One in five IVF pregnancies results in multiple gestation compared with one in 80 from natural conceptions. Multiple pregnancy is considered to be the most common adverse outcome and the largest health risk associated with assisted reproductive technologies. High multiple pregnancy rates are preventable, particularly in light of elective single embryo transfer and modified drug regimes for stimulated IVF cycles. Risks to the fetuses in multiple pregnancies depend greatly on chorionicity and amnionicity. Monochorionic pregnancies are at a much higher risk of adverse outcome for the fetuses in utero and during delivery. Optimising antenatal monitoring and careful intrapartum planning and execution is essential for a safe outcome for mother and babies. Developments in assisted reproductive technologies in the prevention of multiple pregnancies are also discussed.


Multiple Pregnancy Assisted Reproductive Technology IVF Elective single embryo transfer 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa J. Knight
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lisa A. Joels
    • 2
  • Myles J. O. Taylor
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyRoyal Devon and Exeter HospitalExeterUK
  2. 2.Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation TrustCentre for Women’s Health, Wonford HospitalExeterUK
  3. 3.Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation TrustCentre for Women’s HealthExeterUK

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