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Wow! It’s Wednesday! The 8 Octupulets In the Room

invitroSo you’ve probably heard about this woman here in California who after conceiving 6 kids through IVF, went through the process again and had 8 more.

Now as someone who’s been through IVF, of course I’ve been following this story with almost fanatical interest.

First of all, I find it hard to imagine that this women is anything less than crazy. 6 kids born to a single mother with super-enabling parents are bad enough, to willingly sign on for more after that smacks of narcissism, greed, delusion and a few other mental illnesses that I could name.

Second, I am dead curious about the doctor that implanted the embryos. The details are shady here. Maybe she lied to him. Maybe he only implanted 4 embryos and they ALL split — what are the chances? Either way, it’s sparked a huge debate about IVF practices.

I’m with the camp that believes that only one egg should be implanted in women under 35 if the egg is good — 2 if the eggs are only okay.

However, I do understand why some doctors choose to implant more than two embryos at times. IVF is incredibly expensive. I’ve read about and spoken to women who have switched jobs, gone through extreme life changes, and/or taken out loans in order to afford it. Under those circumstances, does a doctor really want to say “only one egg at a time it’s safer”?

So now a few politicians are making a little noise about maybe regulating this IVF stuff. I doubt it will happen. If you were to regulate IVF, then you’d have to talk about why so many insurance companies are allowed to get away with not covering it, nd that’s a can of worms that they probably don’t want to open. Mind you the insurance packages of most lawmakers cover IVF, so they don’t have to worry about how they’re going to afford it.

Meanwhile, a few other people are trying to make this a pro-choice issue. Doesn’t a woman have the right to decide what she wants to do with her body? If this California woman wanted to go out tomorrow and implant 4 more embryos, she could totally do it. It’s her body.

I find this argument interesting, b/c technically when my doctor suggested putting in only one egg, I could have demanded that she put in two, maybe even three or four — the discussion never got that far.

However, when my fertility doctor gave me my medical records to take to my regular OB, I noticed that she had written up a short mental evaluation along with her physical evaluation in her patient notes. So she probably would have turned me down as a patient if I had seemed crazy.

I guess the question becomes should every IVF patient who wants more than the recommended amount of eggs implanted have to undergo a mental evaluation? Would that be fair, considering that non-IVF people like The Duggars don’t have to undergo mental evaluation in order to have 19 kids.

It’s interesting because this story has gone from being a bit of a freak show to bringing up some serious ethical issues where IVF is concerned. But let me know your thoughts on the matter in the comments.