Fact Check

Was a California Fertility Doctor Arrested for 'Snorting Embryos'?

The article's outlandish headline might have garnered clicks, but it also should have set off some alarm bells.

Published Nov. 21, 2023

 (Antonio Marquez Ianza / Getty Images)
Image courtesy of Antonio Marquez Ianza / Getty Images
In 2022, a fertility doctor in Los Angeles, California was arrested for snorting an embryo up his nose.

On May 11, 2022, Ringsssss.com published an article claiming that a Los Angeles fertility doctor was arrested for snorting an embryo in order to impress a nurse. The article described his purported actions similarly to stereotypical cocaine use, with the doctor supposedly using a $100 bill to snort the embryo. It began as follows:

Fertility Doctor Behind Bars For Snorting Embryos Up His Nose

Los Angeles, CA- Dr. Peter Launt (41) is in Los Angeles’ county jail, the “Twin Towers” awaiting trail for the illegal consumption of an embryo. Other charges facing the doctor include; Felony destruction of an embryo, 14 separate HIPAA violations, Theft, Malpractice, and many potential civil suits also await the Doctor.

The story was shared on social media sites like Facebook and iFunny, although Snopes was unable to find contemporary posts re-sharing the item. However, we received email requests from readers asking if we could fact-check the article. Rest assured, the story was not a factual recounting of real-life events. Ringsssss is a website that describes its output as satirical, claiming in its header to be voted the "best satire site on the planet 3 years in a row non consecutively." The site also features a brief explainer on its about page reaffirming that none of the stories it publishes are real:

Ringssss is a fabricated satirical newspaper and comedy website. Ringsssss uses invented names in all its stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental.

Ringsssss is not intended for people under 18 years of age.

Snopes traced the supposed fertility doctor's mugshot that appears in the article back to a 2016 incident in which a doctor in Fort Myers, Florida, was arrested and charged for drug possession and a DUI.

We have fact-checked other satirical stories from Ringsssss in the past, including one about a California woman who died attempting to catch a sword with her vagina. The website frequently uses shocking and outlandish headlines, likely in order to entice viewers to click on the article.

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.


About Us – Ringsssss. https://ringsssss.com/about-us/. Accessed 20 Nov. 2023.
Bonine. Fertility Doctor Behind Bars For Snorting Embryos Up His Nose – Ringsssss. https://ringsssss.com/epidemiology/fertility-doctor-behind-bars-for-snorting-embryos-up-his-nose/. Accessed 20 Nov. 2023.
Braun, Michael. “Fort Myers Doctor Charged with DUI, Drug Possession.” The News-Press, https://www.news-press.com/story/news/crime/2016/01/06/fort-myers-doctor-charged-dui-drug-possession/78357306/. Accessed 20 Nov. 2023.
Evon, Dan. “Did Woman Die Trying to Catch Sword With Vagina?” Snopes, 29 Apr. 2022, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/vagina-sword/.
Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/ringsx5/posts/951417365555093/?paipv=0&eav=AfYwa8k12Hi07mkanqZ2e4CxXB_LsIT5Kn4KA9eRpb5nDHCTs2UrdMPbKSJzsXC7QAQ&_rdr. Accessed 20 Nov. 2023.
infallibleMeme2_2021. “Satire Saturday--Some Headlines That Tickled My Pickle - Fertility Doctor Behind Bars After Snorting An Embryo Up His Nose May 1 FERTILITY DOCTOR IN HOT WATER AFTER Ircsssss.Con SNORTING AN EMBRYO UP HIS NOSE.” iFunny Brazil, https://br.ifunny.co/picture/satire-saturday-some-headlines-that-tickled-my-pickle-fertility-doctor-CAZPzKPY9. Accessed 20 Nov. 2023.

Jack Izzo is a Chicago-based journalist and two-time "Jeopardy!" alumnus.