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Multiple Births Result from Drugs Used to Optimize Egg Production

Multiple Births Result from Drugs Used to Optimize Egg Production

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Multiple births resulting from fertility treatments are caused by drugs that encourage egg production and ovulation or by implanting multiple eggs in the uterus. In the former case, it is often possible to detect the development of multiple eggs and halt treatment, since multiple embryos reduce the chance that any single embryo will develop optimally.

Infertility in a woman can occur because her reproductive system is not producing viable eggs, because she is not ovulating, or because she is ovulating before the eggs are viable. There are several classes of drugs used in fertility treatment that may solve these problems. For many, these drugs result in multiple eggs.

In the early stages of drug therapy, blood and hormone tests and ultrasound monitoring can often determine if multiple eggs are developing. Ending treatment will stop egg development.

A woman with a medical condition that prevents ovulation may have her eggs extracted from her ovaries and implanted into her uterus. If eggs are not being produced at all, she may have donor eggs implanted. To increase the odds of conception, multiple eggs may be implanted. If multiple eggs are fertilized, some may be removed to prevent multiple births.

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