Amidst ongoing efforts in China to bypass the “one-child only” law, private fertility clinics have started to push “multiple-baby pills” under the guise of general infertility treatment campaigns.
As China’s one-child policy remains unchanged, it is not yet clear whether or not fertility care will reach popularity levels like those in the United States and elsewhere; however, it is becoming more common for clinics in the country to announce how fertility drugs can increase the chance of multiple births.
While it is understandable for women and couples to desire more than one child, especially if they want to add to their current family or provide a sibling, the current fertility campaigns taking place are in danger of neglecting to provide important information about the potential side effects of fertility drugs and multiple births (ie. overmedication, polycystic ovarian syndrome, low birth weights). Current trends among fertility care specialists is the US consistently suggest a shift towards more physiologically sound and natural treatments. Minimally evasive protocols, such as those at New Hope Fertility Center, avoid the overuse of fertility drugs that can lead to high risk multiple births that put stress on both mother and child.
According to the recent report in the Wall Street Journal, family planning laws were enacted in 1980 as a way to control the population that grew under Chairman Mao. Today, however, concerns are growing around the fact that the now shrinking (and aging) population may significantly affect the country’s economic and social growth. Officials in Guangdong, China’s most populated province, recently requested China’s central government to waive the one-child rule under certain circumstances, including if the parents in question grew up as only children. The same province is home to leading private hospital’s in China who are participating in the advertisement of multiple-baby pills, like Guangzhou Women’s Hospital, which currently is running an ad that states the pill “helps women address infertility” and adds “you may get twins” (source: WSJ).
While concrete statistics are not yet available regarding multiple births and the fertility campaigns, there is no question that accessibility and awareness surrounding the availability of fertility care treatments in the country is rising.
We’ll continue to keep an eye on the development of fertility care in China and news regarding the country’s one-child policy.