While Nadya Suleman's octuplets remain the in vitro exception, about 30% of such procedures result in multiple births. One attempt can cost $12,000, so patients regularly implore docs to up their pregnancy chances by planting multiple embryos—even though medical guidelines push for the transfer of no more than two in women under 35, the New York Times reports.
In their desperation, would-be parents gloss over the risks of multiple births—including infant mortality, low birth weights, long-term disability, and high medical costs—and such guidelines lack legal bite and have little effect on the fiercely competitive clinics. Still, as fertility methods have improved over the last decade, multiple births have become less common. “I don’t think any doctor would try to make a multiple pregnancy," a fertility doc defends.