The end of an era is upon is, ladies. No more Octo-mom, no more Kate Plus 8, and no more risky pregnancies for a huge number of IVF pregnancies. At least if other fertility clinics follow the lead at the University of Iowa where a study found that today women under the age of 38 have just as good of a chance of getting pregnant using one embryo in the transfer as multiple embryos.
Unless you're one of those people who dream about having twins, triplets, or even more, this is fantastic news. After all, women carrying multiples are at an increased risk for diabetes, having premature babies, or babies born with cerebral palsy. Cutting down these risks for women who are already under bodily stress is an admirable goal. So let's hope fertility clinics embrace this idea, and we can all stop looking at moms of twins and wondering what the story is. You know, if you do that sort of thing.
It wouldn't be completely unreasonable, since while IVF only accounts for 1 percent of the births in America, it accounts for 17 percent of the multiple births. So when you're seeing more twins at your pre-school, you would be excused for assuming some of them were the result of IVF. I'm usually wondering how much sleep parents of multiples are getting, but that's just me.
I happen to know a large number of moms who came by their twin babies naturally. Or rather, it was in the family. "Naturally" is a loaded term these days, isn't it? It seems those twin genes are hardcore, or at least they have been in my experience. So while we will still see twins, and even the occasional triplet, the days of mega multiples should end.
Of course that's assuming fertility clinic physicians act ethically. And we know not all of them do that when given the opportunity to super-size a lady's womb. But now, at least, we'll know which doctors are the quacks and which ones have mom's and baby's best interests at heart.
Do you think this policy should be used at every clinic?
Image via Dan Bock/Flickr