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Fertility Drugs Behind Rise Of Multiple Births

The real reason behind the multiples baby boom

(CNN) -- It's no secret that fertility treatments are behind the increasing numbers of twins, triplets or even quadruplets or quintuplets born in recent years.

However, scientists studying the impact of medical intervention on multiple births were in for a surprise -- in vitro fertilization (IVF), which has anecdotally borne much of the blame for multiple births because more than one embryo is typically implanted, was not the primary cause of multiples.

Instead, fertility drugs appear to be the culprit.

By 2011, 36% of twin births and 77% of triplets, quads and quintuplets came as a result of fertility treatments including fertility drugs, according to a study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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