Since 1980, there have been over 140,000 babies born in the united States using IF procedure. Just recently, the world has been amazed by the case of Nadia Salesman’s octopuses. Is this a message to all women that multiple pregnancies are perfectly safe with today’s medical advances?
I do agree that some highly skilled refashions can perform such miracles, but what are the consequences of post-IF procedures? IF and fertility drugs come with so many risks, such as the mother’s health problems, multiple births, premature babies, birth defects, and an enormous financial burden. As a fertility patient myself, I wasn’t well informed about any of those risks, and I doubt every woman knows all those risks before she enters the treatment; or perhaps she knows, but the strong desire for children cannot deter it.
In the US, the IF Industry Is almost completely unregulated; the decision Is based on doctor’s ethics and an agreement between patient and physician. As the rate of multiple births continues to rise, the government should lay more restricted policy on IF procedure to reduce such health risks. When Louis Brown was born In 1978, she became the world’s first baby to be born using IF procedure. As a result, women increasingly turn to IF to achieve pregnancy. It’s a process in which the eggs are fertilized with sperms in a Petri-dish, and the embryos are then implanted into the mother’s uterus.
If the procedure is successful, a healthy infant will be born nine months later. It doesn’t sound very complicated, but in fact, it is far from that simple. Undergoing IF, the patients are administered with many fertility drugs to aid in the development of eggs and the ovulation of ovaries. Many of those drugs come with severe side effects and hyper-stimulation of ovaries; initially, long term usage might increase the risk of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and life-threatening blood clots or hemorrhage (Anderson & Brouhaha’s).
However, under no regulation, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) often approves drugs without long-term data and leaves to the physician’s judgment “off label” use of drugs. Although monitored regularly by sonograms and blood tests, women are still treated as research subjects, and many are unaware of the dangers they face. The government should force the physician to explain all the possibilities and risks before treatments, as well as restrict the approval of drugs by the FDA.
In addition to those drug risks, infertility patients have to face a possibility of multiple births: twin, triplet, and even higher multiples. In November 1997, Mustaches gave birth to a set of live supplest in the U. S. Despite being born premature and needing intensive care, all seven infants survived and escaped major health problems (“Reproductive Technology”). Then in 2009, the U. S. Once again witnessed another miracle multiple birth: Nadia Salesman’s octopuses.
Beside proving the miracle success of high technology In assisted reproduction, those multiple birth cases point out the lack of regulation In ART Industry. “According to the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Coot which ART clinics must Reproductive Medicine guideline… “(Clement). Sessions, a lawyer on behalf of Salesman’s physician, pointed out that medical guidelines on embryo transfers are deadlines only, not law, and that the physician was only attempting to comply with patient preference (Hosing).
However, that reason doesn’t explain why that physician transfers an excessive number of embryos into a young 33-year-old Salesman, who was currently unemployed and who already had 6 kids. Perhaps that physician wanted to prove his capabilities, improve his reputation, or he Just didn’t have the ethic to explain the health risks to the patient. If the guideline was more restricted, as a bill or policy, instead of relying on physician’s ethic, this case wouldn’t have appended. Another issue arises from Salesman’s case. Why would a physician implant multiple embryos into a patient if he already knew the risks?
Some might say that the IF industry lends itself to abuses. Because such treatment is so expensive, average around $12,000 per each procedure, and is rarely covered by insurance, both patient and doctor often ignore the risks and implant multiple embryos with the hope of achieving pregnancy in the fewest cycles possible. Meanwhile, some doctors want to increase their pregnancy-per-procedure rate for their business’ reputation and refits. However, governmental regulation and health programs could be the solution of this problem.
Whether states pass laws mandating that health insurance companies cover the cost of IF, or government comes up with some healthcare program to help uninsured infertility patients. That way, the patient would have less pressure to implant multiple embryos during each IF cycle, and such a decrease in pressure would help reduce the rate of multiple births, as well as increase chances of healthy live births. The case of Nadia Salesman’s octopuses highlights the fact that such an individual’s preference would not affect only herself, but others as well.
The burden of her hospital expenses and medical care are dropped onto the taxpayer of California, whereas that money should have been spent on other more urgent health needs. Consequently, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine had passed a guideline for fertility doctors to reduce the number of implanted embryos to 2 per each IF in woman under age of 35, and a maximum of 3 for woman over 35 (“In Vitro Fertilization”). However, for such guidelines to be followed by all ART clinics, they must be backed up by state laws or by federal legislation.