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Triplet births decline as IVF use increases

By Tim Sandle     Dec 6, 2013 in Health
Number of U.S. pregnancies resulting in three or more babies has gone down since 1998. This coincides with the use of IVF treatments.
According to a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the likelihood of U.S. women giving birth to three or more babies from a single pregnancy has decreased in the last 15 years. The reversal coincides with changes in how in vitro fertilization (IVF) is performed.
IVF is a process by which an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body: in vitro. IVF is a major treatment for infertility when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed.
In the U.S. a change took place to IVF methods during the 1990s. With the change three-fourths of IVF procedures transferred three or more embryos at once. This change in practice has had an impact upon the likelihood of multiple births occurring. The likelihood of having three or more babies after a single pregnancy was five times as high in 1998 as in 1971. By 2013, a 29 percent decline in births of three or more babies has taken place.
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