To: CNN Health–Please Stop IVF Bashing

I’ll take a deep breath here.

‘We’re pissed to be pregnant with twins

That’s really the headline of this scintillating piece of journalism on CNN Health.

It gets better.

IVF is often ‘responsible’ for the increase in multiple births as couples use assisted reproductive technology.

My first red flag should have been how many times the authors use the word ‘implanted’ to refer to the embryos that were TRANSFERRED.

There is even the redundancy of  the statement, ‘both embryos that were implanted stuck.”


They were free floating transferred, and then they implanted on their own, and became twins.

What is not mentioned anywhere is WHY more than one embryo is transferred.

It goes beyond the odds of success with only one.

It costs about $10,000 to $20,000 depending on the clinic for ONE SHOT.

Health insurance covers less and less of the costs.

God knows what will happen when an entirely new health insurance program kicks in, since somehow infertility treatments didn’t make it into the necessary covered items checklist.

Sure infertility is a disability under the ADA definition.

Apparently it’s not the kind of disability that merits insurance coverage.

There is some ray of hope that Resolve and other infertility advocates will stir up enough support that there will at least be a tax credit in the future to offset an amount equal to about one IVF cycle at a lower priced infertility clinic.

Until that happens, more than one embryo will often be the choice of patients who make up the 5% of the infertility population who end up needing the high tech assistance of IVF.

And can we give this couple a break?

Yes what they said was crass and insensitive

When you’ve been through multiple infertility cycles, had your hormones adjusted manually month after month, year after year (or watched your wife go through this, and tried to maintain some semblance of sanity), the thought of twins might seem a little overwhelming.

Infertility patients go through so much to get pregnant.  They should get a little latitude when the outcome is not exactly what they had planned.

I know–it sounds ungrateful, and Lord knows I wouldn’t have used their words—but I’m not in their shoes.

I don’t know what their vision was of their family.

I haven’t been through each cycle, or been in their lives to know how this is affecting the plans they might have had.

And for the love of God, please please please stop using Nadya Sulemon, aka the Octomom, as a reference for anything in the non inquiring mind version of the infertility world.

That was a sensationalized news story that cast a dark shadow over the entire infertility profession–but her experience was so unique and outrageous that adding her name to the article immediately reduces the integrity and credibility of whatever point is trying to be made.

The goal is not multiples for the many couples we have known going through IVF  the last 16 years we have been a part of the infertility community.

The goal is one healthy baby.

Multiples are simply a clear sign that more needs to be done so that couples don’t push the envelope by transferring more than one embryo to increase the odds that their multiple thousand dollar investment will result in the one thing they want more than anything–one health baby.



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