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Avatar universal

Selective Reduction; what are the risks?

My husband and I are going for IVF because he had a vasectomy 20 years ago and his reversal of 1 year ago failed.  He was told that the chance of a second attempt being successful was slim to none.  On the positive side, we have been told that are chances of success with IVF are quite high, partly due to the fact that I have no issues.  However, the second complication is my husband's age.  He's quite a bit older than me and we had decided together, before the failed reversal, that we would only have one child as we didn't think it would be fair to have a second a couple of years later when he's a couple of years older still.  Now with IVF, the opportunity for twins has developed and it is something I very desperately want because my personal belief is that a child benefits immensly from having a sibling.  No offence to single children out there.  This is just my opinion.  
That said, I wouldn't want more than twins because I wouldn't want to get into the risks, for the babies or myself, of triplets or more.
Our doctor has told us that this is no problem because we can implant 3 or 4 and if all "take" then we can "termniate" one or two.
I will freely admit that we are currently living in a country that is not strongly bound by medical protocols like in the western world and so doctors have no ethical dilema with multiple implants.
It is not an appealing idea to me but I would risk it willingly to have twins.
My only concern is that another doctor has told us that selective reduction puts the other foetus(es) at great risk!!!
Now I'm miserable and very confused.
I've tried to read as much as I can on the internet and what I'm getting from all this is that the risk is NOT in fact high.
My understanding is that if the procedure used for the selective reduction is the injection of sodium chloride into the foetus, then there does exist a risk to the other(s) but if alternate procedures are used, then the risk is minor.
And frankly, the doctor who said it was very risky is in a neighbouring country where I'm not convinced that techniques are very up-to-date.
If anyone can enlighten me about this, I would be extremely grateful.
6 Responses
121828 tn?1333464491
Wow, you have quite the dilemma and I'm sorry I can't help. I know you will make the right  decision. Consult as many people as possible to get the most up to date information. And, Good Luck!
180395 tn?1287493997
I have heard as well that selective reduction is a risky procedure.  
178590 tn?1294176767
I would definatly look into it very carefully since there is a chance of harming the other baby.  I personally don't think I could do that I think I would just carry as many babies as implanted.  My luck is not very good and I would probably end up losing all of the babies.  But I also understand your thoughts.  All can't help you with any info besides my opinion.....I would just say make sure you have all the facts and the %'s of sucess and the % of failure.  Good luck in what ever you chose.
Avatar universal
Don't know if this will help you or not, but after our recent failed IVF we are going to try again and am hoping to have 4 embryos transferred. Keep in mind that not all embryos will take. Also, it's unfortunate but most Doctors won't do "selective reduction" until 12 weeks since those first 12 weeks are when most miscarriages occur, so they want to make certain this won't happen. This is hard because by then they have a heartbeat and I'm not saying this to upset you, just giving you the facts. You know what's best for you and your DH. Our Dr informed us there is some risk involved  to the other embryos but very minimal risk. I suppose since they do it so often they will be able to keep the risk low. I would sit and talk to your Dr about your concerns/fears since that is what he is there for. Also, with multiples there are greater risks to your health and you need to be healthy to care for your little ones and do what is best for you. Hope this helped some.
Avatar universal
Thank you very much ladies.  I'm very new to all this and really appreciate the support.  I wasn't sure what to expect considering the controversy over the topic and I guess it takes talking with people who have had to deal with all the issues of IVF to get non-judgmental comments and advice.  I'd give anything not to have to consider selective reduction but I really don't feel I have ay other choice but to accept that it may come down to that.  I'll be speaking with my doctor later today... just wanted to get some other opinions which isn't too easy given that I'm living in Syria and have chosen to deal with doctors in Lebanon; not the safest place to be travelling to at present but everything to do with medicine (doctors, education, equipment, standards etc...) are much more up-to-date there and this is not the sort of thing I want to leave in the hands of a doctor who possibly studied from a 30-year old text book and may well have a lab staffed by people with no medical background other than the training he's given them!
Thank you again and good luck to everyone.
Avatar universal
I actually spoke to my Dr about this yesterday the risk I did not know was that you run the risk of loosing all the babies.... He said that if you have a good dr you will not have more than 2.
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