Fertility Drugs Contribute Heavily To Multiple Births

Link The widespread use of ... 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 ...

... 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," ... "COH drugs are widely prescribed, and some health care professionals ... 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."

... About 60 percent of twins, more than 90 percent of triplets, and virtually all quadruplets and higher-order multiples are born prematurely ... 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 ...