With increased fertility treatments, the U.S. birthrate of twins has more than doubled in the past 30 years and the number of triplets has increased significantly. Parents often face a horrific decision.
Somewhat overlooked, are the surges of neonatal deaths, developmental disabilities, as well as other long-term problems. (I have described the consequences of delayed childbearing in several previous blog posts.)
Mark Evans, an Obstetrician and medical geneticist, described the procedure known as selective reduction in a recent Newsweek, My Turn. "This is accomplished - usually at 3 months gestation - by reducing the number of fetuses down to a manageable number, usually two."
What does selective reduction accomplish? A woman who is pregnant with quadruplets, has a 25% chance of losing all of her babies, but she can decrease the loss rate to about 5% by reducing to twins.
Question: How would you and your spouse respond to your doctor if he/she recommended selective reduction?