October 7, 2005

Implant'em All, Let The OB Sort'em Out

The Wall Street Journal reports that, in IVF and even surrogacy treatments in the US, fertility clinics regularly ignore guidelines about multiple embryo implantations, resulting in far higher multiple births (and the increased risks and complications that go with it.

The reasons, in order of appearance:

  • near-non-existent fertility clinic regulation ["they're really more guidelines than codes."]
  • pushy parents demanding successful implantation [um, maybe they're pushy because they have to pay the whole thing themselves? Heaven forbid the WSJ points to an argument in favor of a national health care plan.]
  • competitive clinics gunning for the highest success rates [cuz it's so lucrative, see.]
  • all those "bad embryos" [no joke here, sorry.]

    Multiple Births Persist as Doctors Buck Guidelines
    [wsj or reprinted at the pittsburgh post-gazette]

  • 5 Comments

    Like I said in an earlier post--often seems like we're subjected to ever-more-invasive/experimental procedures to embellish some medico's resume or pad a bottom line.

    Oh yeah, and to further human knowledge. That too.

    So, you think fertility treatments should be covered under a [hypothetical] national health care system? Would this system pay for reproductive options such as termination? Hmmm..

    [or the "embryo reduction treatment" mentioned in the story, you mean? would that be controversial? -ed.]

    I feel so left out that my wife and I conceived our twins in the low-tech, low-cost, low-brow way: in a bed. How will my children be able to bear up under the shame of it all in their cohort of carefully matched zygote pair friends?

    On another related topic, I am going to make a prediction: in the future, when everybody is allowed to select the various traits for their little IVF kids, there will be no more White Sox fans born.

    IVF patients aren't unwilling experimental victims...we are just people who need medical help to get pregnant. Most of us do a lot of research and make informed decisions. In spite of a few bad decision-makers, most people know
    better than Washington bureaucrats what is the best course of action for their individual circumstances.

    Some regulation is reasonable, but as a guiding principle, medical choices in all areas belong primarily with the individual and his/her doctor.

    Oops -- I meant to add one quick clarification: the term for a doctor putting embryos back into a woman's uterus is called "transfer," NOT "implantation." Implantation happens IF the embryo actually decides to stick -- and doctors have no control over whether that happens.

    [d'oh, thanks, I knew that and still got it wrong. -ed]

    my tubes have been tied for 10 years, my husband really wants another baby,I must save my marriage,I want to give him one go around,hope for twin boys,though as active as he is i wouldnt dare untie my tubes,I wish to keep my tubes tied but still have my husbands sperm planted in me, you would think it would be a pretty easy process to get started,I have$2800.00, could i get started with that and maybe make payments on the remaining,please help me come up with the easiest,affordable sollution.. thank you ,,,sandra

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