Questions Raised At Fertility Clinics After Octuplets Birth

Federal government statistics suggest the California fertility doctor who helped Nadya Suleman become pregnant with octuplets has plenty of company when it comes to ignoring guidelines.

According to reports filed by fertility clinics with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fewer than 20 percent follow professional guidelines on how many embryos should be used for
younger women.

The guidelines are purely voluntary, but the furor over Suleman -- who had already had six young children -- has led to talk of passing laws to regulate clinics.

Fertility doctors say there are many reasons clinics skirt the guidelines, including pressure from patients seeking to improve their chances of getting pregnant, financial concerns for those paying out of pocket, and competition among clinics to post good success rates.

The only penalty for violating guidelines is expulsion from some professional organizations, but that can affect whether insurance companies will cover a clinic's treatments.

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