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Book Takes Unvarnished Look at Fertility Technology

Assisted reproduction has transformed how and when women conceive — and how many babies are born at one time.

Today, one out of every 33 children born in the United States is a twin.

Fertility drugs boost the number of eggs a woman can produce at a time, and doctors routinely implant multiple embryos in a woman's uterus using in vitro fertilization.

A new book, Everything Conceivable by Liza Mundy, examines the multibillion-dollar fertility industry and the array of decisions faced by couples using assisted-reproductive technology — including one of the most difficult and least talked about: the decision to reduce a multiple pregnancy.

Mundy, a reporter for The Washington Post, tells Michele Norris that the rise in multiple births and premature babies has increased health risks for children and mothers.

She argues that these technological advances are pushing a woman's natural reproductive system too far, and that fertility doctors should be more straightforward with their patients about the risks they face.

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