The lay term for hormones such as progesterone and pituitary extract, used to enhance the prospect of ovulation and successful implantation of a fertilized ovum. Their use is sometimes complicated by multiple pregnancies, i.e., simultaneous release of several ova, and fertilization of all. Pregnancies with seven or more fetuses have been reported with associated high rates of fetal loss, premature births, and very low birth weight infants. One approach to this has been to “cull” surplus fetuses, which has raised difficult moral and ethical issues.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.