For women with pregnancy complications, one of the most significant risks is premature births. This risk increases with multiple fetuses and can cause miscarriages and other worsening complications. As fetal medicine clinics, we strive to inform patients about their options for a healthy pregnancy. One of those options is multifetal pregnancy reduction. As a personal decision, we’re here to inform you about all the facts about this procedure and be here with you through every step.
What is Multifetal Pregnancy Reduction?
Multifetal pregnancy reduction is a surgical procedure that reduces the number of fetuses during pregnancy. In these cases, women who have three or more fetuses during their pregnancy would be reduced to two fetuses to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
The procedure is performed during the first trimester or early in the second trimester. Fetal medicine specialists use genetic testing to determine if the fetuses will pose any problems for the outlook of the pregnancy. If the pregnancy does pose problems and the patient consents to the procedure, then its performed under the following steps:
- Using ultrasound, your doctor will use a needle to poke into the uterus of the selected fetus or the umbilical cord.
- Once the needle is in, your doctor will inject the fetus or the cord with a medicine that stops the fetus from further forming.
- After the injection is made, the embryo or fetus is then absorbed by the mother’s body through a process called fetal reabsorption.
When Should You Consider Multifetal Pregnancy Reduction?
Because of the nature of the procedure, it can be an emotionally difficult and painful decision to make. For new mothers or expecting mothers, having this procedure done can be terrifying and heartbreaking, especially with the outlook of your future children. However, if your gynecologist or fetal medicine specialist recommends this procedure, then know that they’re offering these choices to help produce the best outcome for you and your future newborn. This is because this procedure provides many long-term benefits, especially for those with high risks of pregnancy complications.
Some of these benefits include:
- Reduced Risk For Mother: The procedure can help reduce risks for the mother, including problems such as gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and anemia. Each of these risks increases with each fetus considered during the pregnancy.
- Reduced Risk For Newborn: Having a multifetal pregnancy reduction can help improve the outlook of your pregnancy by encouraging a normal trimester and giving your body a better chance at producing healthy babies.
- Reduced Health Risk Overall: Risks including miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, and disability are greatly reduced with multifetal pregnancy reduction and can improve the outlook of your infant care after delivery, especially if you’re new to parenthood.
Despite these benefits, this procedure poses huge emotional risks to mothers with high-risk pregnancies. It’s essential to consider all aspects of your care before making a decision, and by speaking with your local fetal medicine clinic, they can help you make the right choice for you that brings out the most positive outlook for you and your baby.