One Solution to the Twins and IVF Conundrum
It doesn’t seem like a slow news week. There are plenty of things happening in the health world, and yet the AP trotted out this breaking story on… I know… stop the presses… single embryo transfers. The version of the story on Yahoo News starts out: “Now fertility experts are pushing a new goal: One.”
It continues, “A growing number of couples are attempting pregnancy with just a single embryo, helped by new ways to pick the ones most likely to succeed.”
A growing number? What about everyone who has been pushing for e-SET for years? This is not news. This has been the goal of doctors AND patients for years, despite the way the media portrays both reproductive endocrinologists and infertile women. Do you know what keeps doctors AND patients from moving towards e-SET as the given rather than the exception? A lack of insurance coverage.
Cover the cost of IVF and you can lower the risk of prematurity from a multiple birth. Insurance companies stand to save money on the other end rather than gamble with women’s (and children’s) lives. As the article states, “It’s mostly an American problem — some European countries that pay for fertility treatments require using one embryo at a time.”
And the Affordable Care Act has no clause that covers mandated fertility treatments.
It is frustrating to see the cat racing to catch its tail year after year. First a story comes out about problems with multiple births. Then comes the response that if insurance covered infertility treatments more people would transfer a single embryo. Then come the comments about how family building is elective and shouldn’t be covered by insurance. And then we get the next wave of studies done fretting about the rise in twin births in America. And in between, the general public weighs in with unhelpful advice and hurtful commentary in the comment section.
Do you know what I would love? To open up the health section of one of the numerous sites I read daily and see a story about great strides being made in treating infertility and building families. I’d love to have a morning where I don’t wake up to either a rehashing of old news or a sensationalistic story about some infertility outlier that will skew the general public’s perception of the disease.
A piece of advice: don’t read the comment section on that article. Just don’t.
Though, because it was sent out by the AP, this topic is everywhere this morning. I’ve already encountered it three times.