What is Selective Reduction?

What is Selective Reduction?

Selective Reduction can be a painful choice for many women who are faced with the decision. Selective reduction refers to the termination of one or more embryos in a multiple pregnancy. For example, if a woman who is undergoing fertility treatments gets pregnant with triplets, she might opt to have a selective reduction down to only twins or a single embryo. There are both medical and non medical reasons that women have selective reductions done. Today we are going to find out more about this sometimes difficult choice. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

Medical reasons for reduction

Sometimes doctors will urge a woman to have a selective reduction for medical reasons. Sometimes a doctor does not think that a woman’s body will support a multiple pregnancy. Doctors might also be concerned about premature birth or low birth weight babies. Sometimes selective reduction is done when the doctor feels that giving birth to the number of babies a woman is pregnant with would result in harm to the mother or the babies.

Non medical reasons for reduction

Sometimes a couple chooses to have a selective reduction done for non medical reasons as well. Sometimes a couple does not feel that they are emotionally or financially ready to handle the number of embryos that exist. Some couples just do not feel that they are ready for the task of caring for so many babies, especially at once. Whether the reason for a selective reduction is a medical or non medical one, the decision is always a difficult one to make.

The procedure

Selective reduction is done as early in a pregnancy as possible. The process that is most often used is a needle that injects potassium chloride into the heart. An ultrasound is performed to make sure that the heart stops beating. Sometimes the fetal material is reabsorbed into the woman’s body, and sometimes, a few weeks later, she will have a miscarriage. The woman is usually, but not always, awake during the procedure.

The emotional effects

For every woman who has to make the choice of whether or not to reduce, the emotional hardships that come along with the decision are very real. Some women feel like their doctors did not give them a choice, or pushed them to do something that they didn’t want to do. Most women agree that they feel at least some degree of guilt and depression after the procedure, but most know that they made the right choice for their situation. It is highly recommended that any woman who needs to make the choice on whether or not to have a selective reduction seek the advice of a counselor, or trusted professional. This can help make the difficult decision easier.

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Monica Scott, BS, RN
Monica Scott, BS, RN | ConceiveEasy
Ms. Scott joined ConceiveEasy after working in prenatal obstetrical care for two years in a private practice before being promoted to Director of Nursing. She has a strong interest in women's health with an emphasis on promoting fertility awareness.