What is Fetal Reduction?

Fetal Reduction is a procedure used to reduce the number of fetuses in multiple pregnancies, usually more than two. 

When pregnancy involves three or more fetuses, the risks of miscarriage, stillbirth, and structural malformation increase with each additional fetus.

Fetal Reduction refers to choosing to reduce a fetus in multiple pregnancies, decrease the health risks to the mother in carrying and giving birth to more than one or two babies, and decrease the risk of complications to the remaining fetuses.

The chance of multiple pregnancies increases in the case of artificial reproductive techniques. An IVF aims to achieve and sustain a safe pregnancy that results in a healthy baby.

Best Fetal Reduction Centre in Chennai

Jammi Scans at T.Nagar, the best in Chennai for Fetal Reduction procedure, your needs and emotions are well understood. Your medical health is taken care of by award-winning Obstetrician and Gynecologist in the city, Dr Deepthi Jammi (Founder & Fetal Medical Consultant, Jammi Scans), who keeps you well-informed of all the procedures you have to undergo.

How Is The Procedure Done?

  • The most common fetal reduction method is transabdominal (through the abdomen). For this procedure, the doctor uses ultrasound as a guide and inserts a needle through the mother’s abdomen and into the uterus to the selected fetus. The doctor injects the fetus with a potassium chloride/ lignocaine solution, which stops the fetal heart.
  • Because it is very small during the first trimester, the reduced fetus is usually absorbed by the mother’s body. This may include some vaginal bleeding.

The goal of Fetal Reduction to increase the chance of a successful, healthy pregnancy. 

Why Is The Procedure Done?

As the number of fetuses increases, the risks of preterm delivery also increase: the average length of pregnancy is known to reduce as the number of fetuses increases.

For example, it is 40 weeks for a singleton, whereas, for twins, it is 36 weeks. This reduces dramatically to 32 to 33 weeks for triplets and 28 to 29 weeks for quadruplets.

When Is The Procedure Typically Done?

It is usually done between 11 to 14 weeks of pregnancy. It could be done in combination with the first-trimester screening. The procedure usually does not have any adverse effect on the surviving fetus.

How Is The Fetus Selected?

While performing the routine screening ultrasound at 12 to 13 weeks, the fetus which displays signs of an abnormality is selected for Reduction.

If all the fetuses appear normal during the ultrasound scan, then the easily approachable fetus is targeted for Reduction. It must be noted that fetuses are not selected based on gender.

This is strictly prohibited under PCPNDT law, and the sex of the fetuses are not revealed and is also not studied.

What Are The Risks Involved?

  • In higher-order multiple pregnancies (three or more), malformation or intra-uterine death risks are higher with each additional fetus.
  • While fetal Reduction increases the chances of healthy survival for the remaining fetuses, it may sometimes lead to miscarriage of the remaining fetuses, preterm labor or infection.
  • About 75% of women who undergo fetal Reduction will go into premature labor. About 4-5% of women undergoing fetal Reduction also miscarry one or more of the remaining fetuses. Other side effects include fever, vaginal bleeding, leaking or contractions.

Frequently Asked Questions

The pregnancy will be closely monitored to observe if there are any complications following the procedure.

Usually, the fetal material is reabsorbed by the mother’s body.

Fetal Reduction may sometimes include vaginal bleeding or leaking.

The legality of fetal Reduction is limited to cases where there is no violation of the law (i.e. fetal Reduction for pure gender-based and financial reasons is not allowed). Chennai Women’s Clinic allows this procedure only if there is a medical threat or risk to the mother’s health or other fetuses.

This procedure does not cause much physical pain. However, you will be given LOCAL  anaesthesia before the process starts. 

5/5 - (143 votes)