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Thursday, December 30, 2010

British triplet born more than a decade after twin sisters -- any more coming?

From: http://www.chicagotribune.com/

An embryologist works in a petri dish during the in vitro fertilization process. British media report that a triplet was born from a frozen embryo more than a decade after her twin sisters.
An embryologist works in a petri dish during the in vitro fertilization process. British media report that a triplet was born from a frozen embryo more than a decade after her twin sisters. (Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times)



The British media is abuzz with news that a triplet was born 11 years after her twin sisters. It seems that, in the age of frozen embryos, all is possible.

The Daily Mail newspaper says experts proclaim the delayed birth to be a "record gap" for babies conceived at the same time via in vitro-fertilization. Twins Bethany and Megan Shepherd were born in Britain in 1998 and their remaining sister, Ryleigh, was born last month.

Apparently the Shepherds have more embryos from the same batch on ice, the story says. And now they  face the same dilemma other IVF parents face: What to do with leftover embryos?

The American Fertility Assn. offers this advice: "It’s a private issue gone very public. It's a complex web of personal philosophy, religious orientation and social conscience about which everybody, and we mean everybody, has a strong opinion. But the fact is, and should be, what you do with the frozen embryos you don’t use is your decision and yours alone." The options are limited to discarding the embryos, donating the embryos for research or donating to an infertile couple.

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