Author's Note: While not my most commented, this is one of my favorites. This still makes me angry.
January 31, 2009
Multiple Mania and Irresponsible Doctors
I am a veteran of the "infertility war". I happen to know way too much about the topic of reproductive endocrinology. Having gone through, years of testing, several surgeries and multiple cycles, I think I have the right and knowledge to comment on the irresponsibility of some fertility doctors. I also have the right because I was fortunate enough to go to two clinics, one a highly-regarded regional facility and the other arguably the best in the world, where the doctors educated their patients on such risks and instituted policies so incidents like the California 8 would not happen.
Trust me I know how you can get caught up in the world of fertility. Your emotions takeover and you think, "sure putting 12 embryos in my uterus is a great idea!", but at that point you aren't thinking of the consequences you are just so desperate to have a baby you will consider anything. However, this is where a responsible doctor needs to step in and counsel their patients. While at "arguably the best fertility clinic in the world," I was told right off the bat even though I had a "difficult case" they would only consider putting two maybe three embryos in at one time. So let's put this into perspective, I am a woman who has not yet had any children - I didn't have the luxury of 6 others waiting at home for me. I am, at the time, 34 years old - not 30. I have stage 4 endometriosis and damaged fallopian tubes, basically I need a miracle, and all the clomid in the world isn't helping me. How does the California 8's doctor in his right mind let this happen when my doctor would only put in up to three embryos?!?!?
I do understand that she didn't go through IVF like I did but when you are on drugs like Clomid, once again, a responsible doctor will monitor follicle production and will cancel a cycle if there are too many being produced to avoid a situation like this. Here is the other thing when you are using a sperm donor you don't necessarily need to be on Clomid. Why in this doctor's right mind did he give a fertility drug to a woman who is clearly fertile?!?
Reproductive medicine has some voodoo and ethical questions constantly surrounding because of negative stories like the CA octuplets and it is unfortunate. At times when I didn't want to hear it, I was blessed to have responsible doctors on my side giving me proper guidance, outlining the risks involved. I read a quote from a doctor saying, "who am I to say how many children a women should have. maybe she wanted a big family?" Maybe she does but P.S. she already HAD ONE! While I know doctors can't tell you what to do and they are not their to judge how many children you should and shouldn't have, they can help you come to a responsible decision one that keeps the mother and unborn children safe. My hope is there are more doctors out there like my wonderfully brilliant and responsible reproductive endocrinologists.
The Young Girl and the Sea
2 months ago