Multiple pregnancy rates in the UAE have increased in recent years which is mainly attributed to an increase in maternal age and an increase in using assisted reproduction techniques i.e. more women are seeking in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive techniques (ARTs). Often when a multiple pregnancy occurs after ART treatment, the excitement of expecting more than one baby in the context of the overwhelming desire to have a family overshadows the risks that unfold. Complications and difficulties in managing them come as a great shock to the family who may have not considered this aspect of embarking on a multiple pregnancy.
Dr Leanne Bricker, Chair of Fetal Medicine, Corniche Hospital, Abu Dhabi, UAE, will be discussing multiple pregnancies from fertility treatment from an obstetrician’s perspective at the Obs-Gyne Exhibition & Conference from 30 March-1 April 2014 at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, UAE.
“Multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets or more) are very high risk pregnancies where the risks are evident for both mother and babies. The risks rise as the number of babies increases. Mothers are at higher risk for almost all pregnancy-related complications e.g. pre-eclampsia, hemorrhages, gestational diabetes and even maternal death,” says Dr Bricker.
Twins can be delivered naturally if there are no complications, however, about 40-50% of women with twins who aim for natural delivery need an emergency caesarean section. If there are three or more babies, caesarean section is advised. In some multiple pregnancies where the babies share a placenta these pregnancies are difficult to manage clinically.
“These high caesarean section rates also result in increased maternal risk. During pregnancy there is a higher rate of pregnancy loss and the babies are at increased risk of being born prematurely. Its consequences include congenital abnormalities and other short and long term complications including cerebral palsy, respiratory disease, as well as death. 60% of twins and 75% of triplets are born too early compared with about 8-10% risk of preterm birth in singleton pregnancies,” commented Dr Bricker.
“From an obstetrician’s perspective, the management of these pregnancies is complex, and a good outcome (i.e. taking home two or more normal healthy babies) is not always the result. It is therefore very important that specialists who provide ART treatment are cautious to avoid multiple pregnancies, in particular more than two babies (triplets, quadruplets etc.) and explain the risks to the women when considering their treatment options.”
The principal problem to date in preterm birth is that there are no known clinical interventions which reduce this risk in multiple pregnancies. Indeed, even the clinical strategies which may reduce the risk in singleton pregnancies are not effective in multiple pregnancies.
Organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, the Obs-Gyne Exhibition & Congress will witness the largest gathering of obstetricians and gynaecologists in the Middle East. The endeavour aims to keep women’s health professionals, both in the UAE and the region, updated on the latest technologies and medical advancements in the field. The exhibition will showcase more than 54 exhibiting companies from 20 countries including industry giants such Roche, American Hospital Dubai, and Bayer Healthcare.
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