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Fertility treatments and older maternal age linked to multiple births

Category: Infertitlity Hormone Testing

Fertility treatments and older maternal age linked to multiple births   FSH testing and other fertility treatments today enable women to conceive children even though they may be older or have impaired fertility. However, new evidence suggests that these approaches to conception may be leading to a rise in the number of twins born in the U.S.

A team of researchers from Michigan State University found that one in 30 babies born in 2009 were part of a twin set. That number was just one in 53 in 1980. The number triplets born quadrupled during this time period. The team said that fertility treatments and older maternal age account for the rise.

"Prior to 1980, the incidence of U.S. twin births was stable at about 2 percent of all births, but it has risen dramatically in the past three decades," said lead researcher Barbara Luke. "Older maternal age accounts for about one-third of the rise, and two-thirds is due to the increased use of fertility treatments."

The situation could represent a potential public health threat, as some studies have linked multiple births to a higher risk of health problems. The findings could play a role in directing future fertility counseling programs.
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