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Doctors Call for Better Guidelines for Prescribing Fertility Drugs
Doctors with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the March of Dimes are urging specific guidelines for the prescribing of fertility drugs because they say they contribute to a high risk of premature births that often result in lifelong health problems for many babies.
The federal agency and birth-defect research group said in a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology that controlled ovarian hyperstimulation drugs account for four times more live births than procedures like in vitro fertilization.
But taking the drugs also results in a high possibility of multi-fetal pregnancies "that brings a high risk of prematurity and lifelong health problems for the babies as a consequence," said March of Dimes Dr. Alan R. Fleischman in a statement.
He said that 88,000 babies are born prematurely every year as a result of the recent increase of twins, triplets and other multiple births. About 60 percent of twins, more than 90 percent of triplets and just about all quadruplets are born prematurely. Even infants born alone, but conceived with the use of fertility drugs are at a higher risk of premature birth than babies conceived naturally, Fleischman said. Read more.