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Fertil Steril. 1995 Jul;64(1):51-61.

The psychological effects of multifetal pregnancy reduction.

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  • 1Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, New York, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To study the psychological effects of multifetal pregnancy reduction.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Hour-long semistructured telephone interviews with both multifetal pregnancy reduction patients and control subjects.

PATIENTS:

Forty-two multifetal pregnancy reduction patients were contacted within 1 year of undergoing the procedure. Forty-four control subjects had become pregnant after infertility evaluation or treatment but conceived only a single fetus or twins and thus did not consider fetal termination.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Standardized measures of depressive disorder and current psychiatric symptoms, as well as questions about emotional reactions to multifetal pregnancy reduction.

RESULTS:

Reduction patients who were pregnant or postpartum at the time of the interview (n = 34) were no more likely than pregnant or postpartum controls (n = 34) to report episodes of depression or high psychiatric symptom levels. The same proportion (14.7%) of both reduction patients and controls with a successful pregnancy outcome met criteria for an episode of major depressive disorder occurring during the 9 months before the interview. In contrast, the 8 reduction patients who spontaneously aborted the entire pregnancy and the 10 controls who spontaneously aborted reported significantly higher rates of the full depressive syndrome.

CONCLUSIONS:

Multifetal pregnancy reduction is experienced as stressful and distressing. However, when pregnancy outcome is successful, the medical intervention does not put women at significant risk for affective illness or elevated levels of psychiatric symptoms.

PMID:
7789580
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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