One of the many ways which today’s reproductive technologies are reckless, endangering mothers and babies, is implanting multiple embryos at a time. Of course, this methodology is purely pragmatic – put in as many as is “safe” and hope that some of the embryos “take” and if too many of them take, then selectively reduce the extras. Oh my . . .what’s become of our medical profession and our sensibilities!
However, because of the HIGH risks to mother and child, outside of the U.S. there is murmuring. eSET is big in the UK. eSET stands for “elective single embryo transfer”. Code for One Baby At A Time! Makes sense huh? Multiple births are at risks for low birth weight, premature birth, and all that prematurity and low birth weight brings for babies. Also, the “vanishing twin” concept – our wombs aren’t meant for litters and inadvertently, miscarriage happens with multiple births, i.e. the twin vanishes.
Here’s a great Executive Summary done in the U.K. on eSET. This was done by an independent consulting group for the Human Fertilization Embryology Authority (HFEA).
Here’s a good piece in the New York Times on the epidemic multiple birth problem. Also, it should be noted that aggressive hyperstimulation of the ovaries is also NOT healthy, and hopefully in the U.S. we will be moving away from this practice. Less stimulation, less eggs, less embryos – better for mother and child.
- Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.