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Friday, March 30, 2007

Questionable Fertility Clinic Policies

Fertility Clinics Admission Criteria

I found this interesting article about some questionable or at the very least inconsistent policies of fertility clinics.
 http://www.getpregnantover40.com
 The article addresses everything from age limits, financial policies, marital status, and HIV status. Read more:

Fertility Clinics Have Differing Policies (PregnancyCrawler.com)


A whopping 80 percent of clinics had customers meet with financial coordinators, but only 18 percent had them see a social worker or psychologist.

"Assisted reproductive technologies are too driven by the desires of couples and not enough by the interests of children," said Arthur Caplan, bioethics chairman at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the survey's authors.

Results were published Tuesday in Fertility and Sterility, a journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Answering hypothetical questions, most American clinics said they'd help a 43-year-old get pregnant. One in five would refuse single women, but 5 percent don't even ask about marital status. One in four would help a woman who has the AIDS (news - web sites) virus.

"A gay couple and a couple on welfare were about equally likely to be turned away," said Andrea Gurmankin, a Harvard School of Public Health psychologist who led the study when she worked at the University of Pennsylvania.

One in 10 American couples is infertile, and their ability to get medical help to have children depends on a host of subjective criteria and attitudes about parenthood by fertility clinic operators, researchers found.

About 100,000 pregnancy attempts are made each year using in vitro fertilization, in which eggs and sperm are mixed in a lab dish and the resulting embryos are implanted in the womb. More than 177,000 babies have been born this way in the United States.

Researchers sent surveys to directors of 369 clinics or doctors' offices offering these services across the country; 210 responded.

On average, they turn away only 4 percent of potential customers each year. Only 28 percent had formal policies on who they'd accept or deny.

Asked if they believed that everyone has a right to have a child, 59 percent said yes. Two-thirds believe they have a responsibility to consider parents' fitness before helping them conceive.

Medical conditions evoked different responses. Only 1 percent said they wouldn't help Jehovah's witnesses conceive, presumably because they refuse blood transfusions that might be necessary for the mother or child.

"Three percent said they were unwilling to deal with a blind couple. We thought that was fascinating," Caplan said.

However, only 59 percent flat out refused to treat a woman with HIV (news - web sites), the virus that causes AIDS.

"I don't think the customers, or patients, understand how variable the values are," Caplan said. One clinic might refuse you, but "just down the road is another place that might take you."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

IVF and Fertility Lab Mix Ups - Yikes!

IVF Over 40, Mistakes Happen!

When I read this article (link below), it reminded me of one of my insemination cycles when I was going through fertility treatments. Before we jumped into IVF, we went through seven IUI cycles.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
 One of these had to be cancelled because of a mix up in the lab. The nurse jokingly says, "We wouldn't want a baby that doesn't look like you now would we?" I didn't think it was the least bit funny.

Read more about fertility clinic lab procedures and precautions:

IVF Mistakes: Making Sure The Baby Is Yours (foxnews.com)

From the article:

A New York couple is suing their fertility clinic for giving them the wrong sperm – resulting in the wrong child. The couple, Thomas and Nancy Andrews, of Commack, N.Y., claims that their daughter is too dark to be their child. They are suing New York Medical Services for Reproductive Medicine for medical malpractice and other offenses after multiple genetic tests have confirmed that Thomas is not the father of the baby.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates 1.2 million women had an infertility-related medical appointment in 2002. More and more couples are seeking out infertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). As the business for assisted reproduction technology booms, especially IVF, this lawsuit highlights the chance for mix-ups.

In 2002, a white British couple gave birth to black twins after an IVF mix-up. While this is not a common occurrence, clearly, mistakes do happen. It is difficult to quantify how often these mistakes happen when babies are of the same race – because it is more difficult to detect.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Getting Pregnant Over 40, Will I Be Around To See My Children Grow Up?


Pregnancy Over 40, You May Live Longer

One common criticism I hear about getting pregnant over 40 is, "You may not be around to see your children grow up..."
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
 Well, I realize that none of us can predict the future, but I just don't think that is a valid argument. Granted some people may die young, but that' s true of women having children at any age.

Here is an article that cites a study that says older women actually live longer:

Study Says Older Moms Live Longer (families.com)

From the article:

"In the February 25, 2006 issue of the newspaper, The Daily Mail, scientists at the University of Manchester report that the bodies of older mothers are also likely to suffer less wear and tear than younger mothers because we tend to have fewer children. By having children late, we give our bodies a burst of estrogen which in turn helps keep skin, hair, bones and blood vessels healthy and also protects again osteoporosis.

What's interesting to note is that older parents often become older healthier parents because they want to make sure they are around for their young offspring. This means making healthy lifestyle changes such as when an older mother stops smoking, starts eating healthier, loses weight, gets more exercise, etc. These factors all add to increased longevity.

Several other studies also support this idea that older mothers may live longer than their young counterparts. The British Geriatric Society reports that there is scientific evidence that women who have children late in life live longer than young mothers. They cite better diet and lifestyle as the reason. Thomas Perls, a geriatrician at Harvard Medical School found that a "surprising number of women who gave birth in their forties were more than four times as likely to live to 100."

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Bachelorette Conquers Infertility (Naturally)


Okay, I'm a little embarrassed that I watched "The Bachelorette" when Ryan and Trista found true love. Well...let me explain...I was pregnant at the time and so terribly sick and nauseated that all I could do was sit in my recliner and watch TV. I never watched so much TV as when I was in my first trimester. Reading made me dizzy, laying down made me sick and any sort of physical activity was out of the question. Enter Ryan and Trista. It kept me from going insane...I'm not complaining, I'm justifying my TV viewing habits at the time.

All that said, I just read an article about how Ryan and Trista are expecting a baby. According to the article, they tried for two years, considered fertility treatments and saw a fertility specialist, but wound up getting pregnant naturally. Read More:

Us Magazine.com

It just goes to show you that infertility knows no boundaries and jumping into fertility treatments isn't always the answer.

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