Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I happened to come across this story last week on the net. Further googling yielded much the same story, a plethora of headlines proclaiming "Lesbian couple conceive quintuplets without IVF", with further text claiming that the chances of this happening without IVF were one in sixty million. The article I linked to here claims that the couple conceived quintuplets without using fertility treatment. So did a bright star guide three wise dudes to the maternity hospital where they rocked up weighed down with enough gold, frankincense and myrrh for the five new arrivals?

Is everyone missing something obvious here? The couple had IUI to conceive their babies, which carries just as much, if not more risk of multiple births, if managed poorly. It appears that the babies are all non identical, which would point to super ovulation, often an occurrence in IUI. Why didn't their fertility specialist spot that the mother had five or more ripe follicles before he carried out the insemination? Was this treatment of the pee on a stick, inseminate and fingers crossed school of IUI?

Am I the only one who thinks that there is a huge amount of misinformation regarding fertility treatment in the way this story has been reported? Surely IVF quintuplets are an extreme rarity these days. It really pisses me off the way IVF and high order multiple births are seen to go hand in hand.


  1. "without fertility treatments"? Give me strength. And I suppose she didn't take clomid for her IUI - just natural ovulation.

    Still at least the sperm donor has good teeth.

    Give me strength.

  2. Even with all the popular multiple birth TV shows these days, they still don't bother to explain the difference between IVF and IUI. IUI's are far more likely to results in high order multiple births, but the general public only thinks about IVF. The whole Octomom debacle didn't help, either.

  3. I know, there is a huge amount of misinformation out there regarding fertility treatment, and IVF in particular.