As a result of the increased use of drugs that enhance fertility, and the advent of in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer over the last 2 decades, the incidence of multifetal pregnancies has increased exponentially. In parallel with this increase methods of care for women carrying multiple fetuses have become more complex and well developed. Importantly, it has become obvious that in the case of such pregnancies the rates of mortality and morbidity of both fetuses and mothers, particularly in cases where four or more fetuses are involved, are extremely high. Improvements in the techniques of assisted fertilization should result in fewer iatrogenic multifetal pregnancies and a commensurate decrease in related risks. Fetal reduction seems to be an acceptable method of improving maternal and fetal outcome in high order multiple pregnancies despite the many unresolved medical and ethical dilemmas.
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