Tuesday, February 18, 2014
US IVF Conceptions at All-time High
1.5% of babies born in the US in 2012 were conceived via IVF, according to data just released by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies. Transfers of multiple embryos were down compared to previous years, but the average number of embryos transferred was still 1.9 for women under 35, and higher for older women. An old piece of mine at the Hastings Center Forum on the relationship of US insurance law to multiple-embryo transfers is still available here; it dates back to the Octo-mom story, but its point is still relevant. The rough punchline is, if you don't insure people for assisted reproduction, folks who can only afford one expensive try at having children will opt for multiple-embryo transfers, both in order to enhance their chances at successful implantation and in order to achieve a whole family at one go. This, naturally, results in multiple births--which are considerably more risky both for mom and for kids than are singleton births.