Experts in the US have warned that the extensive use of fertility drugs is causing premature births.

Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation drugs, used to increase egg production and speed up their maturity, account for four times more live births than assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilisation.

The drugs increase the chances of a multi-foetal pregnancy, which boosts the risk of premature birth and its associated health problems.

Clinical societies such as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine must develop clear guidelines on the use of these drugs, pregnancy and baby health charity March of Dimes said.

It added that a system is required to monitor number of multiples births caused by fertility drugs and to hold professionals responsible to industry guidelines.

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