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Multifetal pregnancy reduction and selective termination

Meredith Rochon, MD
Joanne Stone, MD
Section Editors
Lynn L Simpson, MD
Louise Wilkins-Haug, MD, PhD
Deputy Editor
Kristen Eckler, MD, FACOG


The incidence of multifetal gestations, including twin and triplet pregnancies, increased dramatically after the widespread adoption of assisted reproductive technology (ART) (eg, in vitro fertilization, ovulation induction). The increase in multifetal gestations is important because these pregnancies are at higher risk of maternal, fetal, and neonatal complications than singleton pregnancies. The two most serious risks are (1) complete pregnancy loss and (2) preterm birth, with its potential sequelae including perinatal mortality, respiratory and gastrointestinal complications, infection, and long-term neurologic impairment. The risks of prematurity are discussed in detail separately:

(See "Incidence and mortality of the preterm infant".)

(See "Short-term complications of the preterm infant".)

(See "Late preterm infants".)

(See "Long-term complications of the preterm infant".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Sep 26, 2017.
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