A Tunisian woman is now pregnant with 12 babies. We even know the sexes. The still unidentified "Super Pregnant" woman is having six boys and six girls after two years of infertility and miscarriages. The world of reproductive medicine didn't do right by her and neither did the insurance industry because by now, we should all know better.
Unfortunately, it is often intrauterine insemination with fertility medication that is covered by insurance and in vitro fertilization (IFV) that is not. So a woman has the unfortunate choice of insurance coverage for her treatment and possibly risking a terrible outcome versus state of the art medical treatment. And it's not about bad decisions made by bad doctors, those occur in every field of medicine. It's about the science of reproductive medicine leaving behind techniques and procedures that some experts in the field of infertility simply feel we should be moving on from and not having their hands controlled by the insurance industry. I know - not a new debate - but one that is still on the stove and boiling over.
This is not about too many embryos being transferred in an IVF cycle. This is way more common a cause of high order multiple births than the "Octomom" scenario. Here we are talking the famous "Sextuplets" or "John and Kate Plus Eight." We are talking about the almost-impossible-to-control outcome of the use of gonadotropins (fertility drugs) combined with intrauterine inseminations (IUI's). And it is this procedure that invites regulation or restriction of its use like no other. It is this procedure that patients are often forced into doing before attempting IVF by many insurance companies.
In an IUI cycle with fertility drugs, a woman's ovaries are hyper stimulated to produce many eggs and then sperm is introduced to her uterus in the hope of achieving pregnancy. Unlike IVF, the doctor is not in control of how many fertilized embryos will implant. In fact in an IUI cycle the doctor often does not know if any fertilization will occur at all.