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Multiple Pregnancy: Twins or More - Treatment Overview

Watch for problems continued...

Any pregnancy can have these complications, but there is more concern about them happening during a multiple pregnancy.

Preterm labor is more common in a multiple pregnancy than in a pregnancy with one fetus. If you go into preterm labor and premature delivery is likely, your health professional may recommend taking one or more precautions, such as:

  • Limiting your activity level.
  • Staying in the hospital. This is often so that you can receive steroid medicine to help your babies' lungs develop faster. In some cases, tocolytic medicine is used in an attempt to delay preterm birth. You are closely watched if you are treated with a tocolytic medicine.

For more information, see the topic Preterm Labor.

Possible problems for the babies (fetuses) during multiple pregnancy can include vanishing twin syndrome, twin-to-twin transfusion, twins that share one amniotic sac (monoamniotic twins), and locking twins.

Early pregnancy decisions about triplets or more

When there are three or more fetuses in the uterus, their risks of disability or death are higher with each additional fetus. If you are carrying triplets or more after infertility treatment, your doctor may offer the option of multifetal pregnancy reduction (MFPR) near the end of your first trimester. A successful MFPR increases the chances of healthy survival for the remaining fetuses and reduces risks to you. But MFPR sometimes leads to miscarriage.1

The decision to have a multifetal pregnancy reduction is difficult and may be traumatic. If you are faced with this decision, talk to your doctor about your personal risks from trying to carry multiple fetuses to term compared to the risks of choosing MFPR. Also consider discussing your decision with a counselor or spiritual adviser.

Multiple Pregnancy: Should I Have a Multifetal Pregnancy Reduction?

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 21, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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