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Keywords

High-risk pregnancy, Infertility, Multifetal pregnancy, Multiple gestation.

 

Authors

  1. Little, Cindy M. PhD, WHNP-BC, CNS

Abstract

This article discusses the issue of multifetal pregnancy as a result of fertility treatments. Pregnancies with multiple gestations are associated with serious infant and maternal health risks as well as psychological distress and significant financial consequences, and are a far too common consequence of infertility treatments such as assisted reproductive technology (ART) and ovulation induction drugs. Women with multifetal pregnancies are at a higher risk for multiple pregnancy complications and maternal morbidity/mortality as well as stress, depression, and anxiety disorders, especially when there is the threat of a loss of one or more fetuses. The rise in rates of multifetal gestation and the accompanying increased risk to both mother and fetuses have led the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology to develop guidelines to limit the number of transferred embryos during in vitro fertilization. Nurses who work with infertile women are in a position to educate them about the risks, benefits, and alternatives associated with ARTs and multifetal pregnancies, and should endeavor to learn as much as possible about this topic.