Here's an interesting statistic.
Less than 20 percent of fertility clinics follow guidelines for the number of embryos transferred, according to this article.
"Fertility doctors say there are many reasons clinics skirt the guidelines: pressure from patients who want to use more embryos to improve their chances of getting pregnant; financial concerns from those who are paying for their treatment out of their own pockets; and the competition among clinics to post good success rates."
No kidding. These guidelines have been in place since 1996?
Uhm, hello? My doctor put in FIVE for me in 2003. I was 34.
Granted the embryo quality was really, really poor on two of them and we had already done it twice before with much better embryos and it failed. They only took pictures of the three "good" ones. I'm going to make the kids figure out which one was them someday.
Here's pretty much how it played out in the room.
My doctor walked in while I'm laying on the table after holding my pee for 3 solid hours, because they were running behind schedule, and told me, "Mrs. S, the embryos aren't that great this time. We've got one seven cell, one six cell, one five cell, and two four cells. You might have one viable embryo. What do you want to do?"
(At the time, they wanted you to have an eight cell to be good. I have no idea how they do it now.)
Greg looked at me and said, "We're already in to this thing 40 grand and it isn't going to work, and we aren't freezing any again. I'm not shelling out another 5000 bucks to do IVIG on frozen crappy 4 cell embryos."
Then he looked at the doctor and said, "Put them all in. If two are really bad and not going to make it, then we aren't freezing them, so let it play out."
At no point when I was laying on the table with my bladder ready to explode did the doctor say to me, "Guidelines were issued in 1996 by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, with the intent to cut down the number of multiple births, particularly triplets and higher, that can result when many embryos are implanted and more than one takes. Big multiple births can lead to disastrous, life-threatening complications, lifelong disabilities such as cerebral palsy, and crushing medical costs."
No. He said, "Okay. That sounds great. Sorry about the wait. You'll be able to use the bed pan in just a few minutes, Mrs. S."
So Greg decided how many embryos we put in. Greg. He's an expert on reproduction. Just ask him.
Now I'm really happy with the way things turned out, and I wouldn't wish for a second that I didn't have all my kids, but I'm just highlighting how 5.5 years ago, my clinic was not following the standards or guidelines of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.
And I'm pretty sure if you are reading this and you have triplets, then your doctor probably wasn't either.
So how many embryos did you put in? DO TELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who else almost ended up being the Octomom?