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Trends of Selective Fetal Reduction and Selective Termination in Multiple Pregnancy, in England and Wales: a Cross-Sectional Study

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Sreya Sam, Sarah Tai-MacArthur, Panicos Shangaris, Srividhya Sankaran

Original languageEnglish
JournalReproductive Sciences
E-pub ahead of print13 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021. The Author(s).

King's Authors


Selective abortion was shown to be increasingly common in England and Wales over a 9-year period, occurring most frequently as twin to singleton reductions in the 1st trimester. We analysed the trends in selective abortion (SA) in multiple pregnancies in England and Wales between 2009 and 2018. This is a cross-sectional study looking at 1143 women with multiple pregnancies in England and Wales undergoing SA. There were a total of 1143 cases of SA between 2009 and 2018 in England and Wales, representing 0.07% of total abortions. There has been a steady increase in cases, from 90 in 2009 to 131 in 2018, with 82.3% justified under ground E of The Abortion Act 1967. The majority of SAs were carried out at 13-19 weeks gestation, and intracardiac injection of potassium chloride was the most prevalent method (75%). Twin to singleton reductions accounted for 59%, the most common form of SAs. Over half of all cases (59%) were performed in women aged 30-39 years, and 84% of all women were of White ethnicity. SA has been an option available for couples diagnosed with multiple pregnancy, especially when there are discordant anomalies. Although SA may decrease multiple pregnancy-related complications, preventative methods must be championed.

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