The introduction of multiple preembryos is intended to increase the success rate of in vitro fertilization. This benefits the patients by reducing the cost and medical risks of multiple procedures, but it is also critical to the success of the fertility center's marketing. Few persons would be willing to undergo the risk and expense of in vitro fertilization if the success rate were only 3 to 4 percent. Physicians have a duty to ensure that patients understand this trade-off between success and the attendant risk of multiple births.The physician should also discuss the possibility of amniocentesis on the individual fetuses and the termination of those with genetic diseases. This is a dangerous process, however, because it is usually done later in the term, and retained fetal tissue can cause disseminated intravascular coagulation, with fatal consequences for the mother. ACOG Technical Bulletin 125: Infertility. February 1989. ACOG Technical Bulletin 140: New Reproductive Technologies. March 1990. ACOG Technical Bulletin 120: Medical Induction of Ovulation. September 1988. ACOG Committee Opinion 94: Multifetal Pregnancy Reduction and Selective Fetal Termination. Committee on Ethics, April 1991. ACOG Committee Opinion 94: Multifetal Pregnancy Reduction and Selective Fetal Termination. Committee on Ethics, April 1991.
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