Multifetal pregnancy reduction (MFPR) is the medical procedure that reduces the number of fetuses carried during the multiple pregnancy. It might be a very depressing subject for the intended parents to discuss, however, in long term perspective, MFPR can lead to a healthier pregnancy.
It is a fact that multiple pregnancy is a common occurrence during the In vitro fertilization treatment. The reason is that in order to increase the chances of a successful transfer, 2 or 3 embryos are often transferred at a time. When all of them implant successfully, intended parents are often surprised with twins of triplets. MFPR is not performed when a female carries twins, but may be done to decrease the number of fetuses from 3 or more to 2.
In most of the cases, the aim of the multifetal pregnancy reduction is to increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy. More fetuses are unfortunately linked to higher chances of miscarriage, stillbirth and lifelong disabilities.
The procedure itself is performed early in the pregnancy (9-12 weeks), when the size of the fetus is very small. Widely used method includes injecting potassium chloride in the fetus via a needle, which is inserted in woman’s abdomen.
As already mentioned, multifetal pregnancy reduction is not performed during the twin pregnancy. The risk of this medical procedure is to unintentionally harm other than selected fetus(es). In order to avoid termination of the pregnancy, most of the fertility doctors and surrogacy agencies will strictly refuse to perform MFPR in case of twins.
How to feel about multifetal pregnancy reduction?
The procedure is undoubtedly mentally traumatizing and has a heavy emotional load. However, as strange as it may sound, intended parents should realize that it is done in sake of a more successful and healthy pregnancy.