In one word this sums it up!!! I am delighted at the news that the octuplets were brought into this world safely even though they have a long road ahead of them, I sincerely wish them the best. However, as for the parent and the doctor responsible for their conception, I have other not so delightful thoughts. I have read a number of reports and it seems to date that the story is still not entirely clarified. From what I have gathered so far, the mother of the octuplets was 33 years old, she already had 6 children at home and she had no male partner. I have heard different versions……everything from she treated herself, to she had a frozen embryo transplant of 4 embryos and they all split, to she had a fresh IVF cycle and 8 embryos were implanted. Either way, any of these versions are frankly IRRESPONSIBLE. At the age of 33, ASRM or the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, recommends that no more than 2-3 embryos be implanted. So even if four were implanted and they all split, which is highly unlikely, then that is still too many. A multiple gestation pregnancy has a lot of risks. I counsel my patients at length on the risk of multiples when undergoing any form of fertility therapy. The wonderful thing about IVF is that the number of embryos that land in the uterus can be controlled, as opposed to injectable medicine with intrauterine insemination. In the United States, we are very fortunate to have the freedom to transfer multiple embryos. There are several scenarios where I could possibly see a reason to transfer more than 3. IF the person is over the age of 38, or if the person had failed multiple IVF cycles, or in some cases of recurrent miscarriage where PGD was not performed. Otherwise it is totally IRRESPONSIBLE !!! Unfortunately, now that the system has been so blatantly abused, regulations may come about which prevent the freedom of performing multiple embryo transfers, which we are able to perform in the United States. This will directly impact the people who fall into any of the above mentioned categories who may benefit from multiple embryo transfer.
In my clinic, almost every patient that I have seen over the past week has inquired about this. I would like to inform anyone who is concerned that we are very responsible here at Red Rock Fertility Center and we practice according to the ASRM guidelines as to the recommended number of embryos that should be transferred. In addition, we have also structured our financial packages in a way that you are not penalized financially if you choose to transfer less embryos and are not successful. This allows the patients and myself to make the decision together on what we both are comfortable with. I went into medicine to help people, not to harm them. I think whoever was responsible for the creation of the octuplet pregnancy needs to reread the Hippocratic Oath!!! That’s my opinion on this, hopefully in the upcoming weeks we will learn more details on this subject matter.