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Fertility, IVF and Egg Donation

Tag: Multiple pregnancy

A Fertility Specialist Discusses the Number of Embryos to Transfer with IVF, Multiple Births & Octomom

by on Aug.09, 2009, under Number of IVF Embryos to Transfer

Octomom and IVF – before June of 2008

  • In June of 2008, Nadya Suleman was a single, unemployed mother of 6 children
  • According to reports, she was receiving some “public assistance”
  • All six of her children were reportedly conceived through in vitro fertilization
  • All 6 kids were under 7 years old, including 2 year old twins

Then, she does IVF again

  • In June of 2008, her IVF doctor transferred 6 frozen-thawed embryos to her uterus.
  • Apparently, all six embryos survived – and 2 split into identical twins – so she ended up with eight fetuses growing in her uterus.
  • Nadya declined having a fetal reduction procedure. Reduction can be done to selectively reduce the number of fetuses.
  • The vast majority octuplet pregnancies would be expected to result in death of all fetuses after a severely premature birth.
  • In her case the pregnancy progressed to viability. All 8 babies were born (prematurely) in January of 2009.
  • This is apparently only the second living set of octuplets ever born in the United States.

Public debate rages

  • Is she a fit mother?
  • Should the fertility specialist have been willing to treat her at all?
  • How many embryos should the doctor have transferred to her uterus?
  • Should a physician that transfers that many embryos to a 33-year-old be sanctioned – or even lose his medical license?
  • Why doesn’t the government pass laws to control fertility doctors?

(continue reading…)

Richard Sherbahn

Richard Sherbahn, MD is a fertility doctor practicing in the Chicago, Illinois area. Connect with me on Google+

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