In the West, fertility treatment has become so commonplace however, that it’s easy to forget the pressures and risks that it entails. IVF has been know to cause divorce, catapult mentally fit people into intense psychotherapy and, most significantly, lead women to undergo treatments that can endanger not only their health but that of their babies.
Experts have long known that when IVF results in multiple births – twins, triplets, etc. – theses children run a greater risk of low birth weights and prematurely. A Dutch study concluded that even single IVF babies are twice as likely to be born prematurely as those conceive “naturally”.
However, Professor Alison Murdoch, chair of the British Fertility Society, says it’s important to keep things in perspective. He cited the new rulings of putting just one or two embryos in the womb that would lead to a fewer multiple births and decrease maturity. He adds that there are many reasons a baby may be born prematurely or suffer complications at birth; there may be underlying causes in the mother that aren’t understood, and that lead to the fertility problems.
While research into IVF continues, other studies show that infertile couples can mourn the loss of their unborn babies for longer than parents whose children are stillborn. To prevent this sense of loss, some couples will pay any price to reverse nature’s fate.
Another question occupies couple’s mind but not IVF related matter, which is how they could will go have a genetically baby? Answer have found by other couples which travels to Lebanon to have their “weak” eggs supplemented with cytoplasm (the sticky liquid that surrounds the nucleaus0 from donor eggs, creating babies with three sets of DNA. Other couples are journeying to makeshift medical clinics in Mexico and Colombia, where the blood of husband and wife is mixed and then transfused back in the woman to create immunity to miscarriage. This procedure has never been proved to be effective and is not available in other countries.
Having other people’s babies, or having others carry your baby is another sidestep procedure. In April 2004, a Missouri doctor transplanted ovarian tissue from a twin to her sister. More than a year later in June, the twin who received the transplant gave birth to a healthy seven pound daughter.
But donation and surrogacy are rife with their own set of conflicts. Dr. Alexina McWhinnie, of Dundee University in Scotland, has conducted research into adult donor offspring. Many felt “puzzlement that their parents never met; revulsion at the clinical nature of their conception and feelings of rejection”. The hope that anew laws in giving donor-conceived children access to information about their donor parent may alleviate some of these anxieties in the future.
In the meantime, if research being undertaken in the Netherlands and Israel proves successful, such issues will only intensify. Scientists aim to source eggs from aborted fetuses to be uses a donor eggs in IVF – leaving any child born from this technique with a biological mother who was medically never born.