Approximately 20-25% of pregnancies with
IVF/ICSI will be multiple. Most of these will be twins, but triplets,
quadruplets or even greater multiple pregnancies can occur. A procedure called
"selective reduction of pregnancy" is performed in selected cases of triplets
or more, to prevent the risk of severe premature birth and handicaps as well as
risks for the mother.
This procedure is done under general anaesthesia and USG guidance. A needle is
guided into the selected embryo, transvaginally and medication injected to stop
the heart beat. This embryo gets absorbed gradually as the others grow. There
is a reasonably high risk of aborting all the embryos so great care has to be
taken prevent it.