Selective reduction, multifetal pregnancy reduction (MFPR), or selective termination is the practice of reducing the number of fetuses in a multifetal pregnancy, say quadruplets, to a twin or singleton pregnancy. When the fetus targeted for termination displays signs of a serious disease, the term selective termination is used; otherwise terminology involving the word reduction is used to describe the procedure.
Selective reduction is done for both medical and non-medical reasons. Medical issues generally related to multiple births include premature births, low birth weights, and associated medical problems. Non-medical reasons include that the couple or the mother do not feel that they are emotionally or financially ready to handle more than one child.[medical citation needed] Selective reduction can also be used to reduce a twin pregnancy to a singleton one. This is a less common but growing practice as the risks in twin pregnancies, while existent, are much lower than in higher-order multiple pregnancies