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Brown Study Reports Fertility Treatments Behind the Multiple Births Boom

Update Date: Dec 05, 2013 02:57 PM EST

Due to advances in fertility treatments, couples that have difficulty conceiving have successfully started families. Even though fertility treatments give couples the opportunity to create life, often times these treatments lead to multiple births. According to a new report headed by a physician from Brown University, fertility treatments greatly contributed to the boom of multiple births within the United States.

The survey was headed by Dr. Eli Adashi who examined 40 years of data provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He concluded that the number of multiple births within this nation is sitting on epidemic levels. In 2009, there was a peak in twin births. However, the chances of having of triplets, quadruplets or more have declined slowly within the past years. Adashi reported that in 2011, 36 percent of the twin births and 77 percent of multiple births were due to fertility treatments.

Due to the fact that having multiple births can be extremely dangerous for both mother and children, the researchers stated that fertility treatments should be improved upon so that the risk of having multiple children is reduced. The researchers added that fertility treatments appear to contribute more to the high rate of multiple births as opposed to in vitro fertilization (IVF). Adashi stated that IVF, or test tube babies, do not create multiple births as often anymore due to the 1988 guidelines that limited the amount of fertilized eggs that doctors could implant into each patient.

"I think most of us, when we hear about multiple births, point fingers at IVF," Adashi said according to the Providence Journal. "The reality is that while IVF is an actor, it's not the worst offender."

The president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Dr. Richard Reindollar pointed out the fact that insurance companies tend to be more willing to cover fertility treatments. This could sway couples to pick these treatment options that are high risk for multiple births.

The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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