Responsible Embryo Transfer - How Many is Too Many?

June 10th, 2011

A sigh of relief went through the ConceiveAbilities office this week when the Medical Board of California revoked Dr. Michael Kamrava’s license. Kamrava, of course, is most famously known as “Octo Mom” Nadya Suleman’s fertility specialist. He has also been the trigger for much-needed conversation in the field of reproductive medicine. What is responsible embryo transfer? How many is too many? For someone who is desperate for a child and a team that genuinely wants to help their patient, it can be a true ethical dilemma.

Ultimately, the goal should be to have one healthy child. While IVF always increases the chance of multiples, it is essential for patients to be well-educated and informed about the risk for both mom and babies in a multi-fetal pregnancy. These risks don’t just include pregnancy and delivery complications – consequences can be life long for the children born as a result.

While there are currently no laws preventing doctors from implanting multiple embryos, we hope that this week’s decision will keep the discussion going. We’re pleased that organizations like The American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technologies have developed strong guidelines for embryo transfer. And we’re proud to say that, as one of the nation’s leading agencies for egg donation and surrogacy, we follow their lead. When it comes to choosing an agency to partner with, whether as an intended parent, donor, or surrogate, you must be able to trust their commitment to responsibility.

What do you think? What is ethical, responsible balance in the world of reproductive medicine? We’d love to hear your thoughts!