There are many in Western society that seem to band together anytime the subject of sex-selective abortion in foreign countries comes up. It’s a tricky topic, especially for those of us who favor unfettered abortion access. Outrage and incomprehension over aborting female fetuses in favor of males is usually the default response, with many claiming the practice is misogynistic, and rightfully pointing out the negative impact it has on many countries, specifically in Asia.
But despite our alarm and discomfort surrounding sex-selective abortion, many in Western society have no issue doing all they can to conceive a specific sex. And while pregnancy screenings to rule out female fetuses abound outside the U.S., there has recently been a surge in the number of parents looking to do exactly the opposite within this country: going to great — and expensive — lengths to ensure that their newborn is a girl. Keep reading »
I was never that woman who dreamt of having many children or starting my own “Brady Bunch.” Babies, little booties, and bottles were always an afterthought to enjoying a successful career, one peppered with travelling the world and enjoying a range of other adult activities a childless, flexible lifestyle could provide. However, after my husband Jason was diagnosed with leukemia and underwent a bone marrow transplant (which I wrote about here), it would be an understatement to say that my priorities and narrow definition of family underwent a fundamental revolution. One year post-cancer, I began to dwell on the thought of living and dying without a family of my own.
Cancer had forced mortality to become an issue that often occupied my thoughts during sleepless nights or long car rides, and in my worst nightmare, I became the modern antagonist of some sort of widowed cat lady fairy tale. I imagined myself an old hag with cracked skin in a big castle, hoarding treasure and cackling wildly all by myself, full of bitterness and regret over my own solitude. The adult lifestyle that once felt so plush suddenly transformed into a thorny horror story, and Jason and I decided to try IVF. Keep reading »
Mother Nature’s biological clock stops for no one, not even wannabe grandparents. And that’s why, instead of nagging their daughters about why they have not settled down and started pumping out babies, The New York Times reports that today’s moms and dads are helping to foot the bill to freeze their eggs. Well, rich moms and dads, anyway. The procedure to freeze eggs (not including future in vitro fertilization) costs between $8,000 and $18,000. But apparently, the possibility of future grandchildren is priceless. Keep reading »
When you’re 32, have no serious romantic prospects besides the one(s) in your head, most of your close friends are getting married or having babies, and the only thing you’re sure of is that you’d like to have a baby someday too, you spend a lot of time thinking about how that’s going to happen. I am not proud of being a chick flick stereotype, believe me, but I looked in the mirror this morning and that’s what I saw and, well, time to face facts. Keep reading »
Talk about a silly study. Women who have had trouble getting pregnant and have resorted to using in vitro fertilization can increase their chances of conception by spending just 15 minutes with a “medical clown.” Yeah. A medical CLOWN. Researchers studied 229 Israeli women undergoing IVF and found that those who spent a 1/4 of an hour with Bozo had a success rate of 36 percent, compared to just 20 percent of those who didn’t visit the circus (I kid). So what in the name of Barnum & Bailey is a medical clown? Apparently, you can only get a degree in this specialty in Israel, but practitioners take courses in nursing and focus on distracting patients from pain or stress using humor. This particular study likely proves that “reduced stress, caused by laughter, could increase the chance that the injected embryo will successfully make its way into the womb.” Or, um, maybe the embryo has read Stephen King’s IT one too many times? [NY Daily News] Keep reading »
How do you like your eggs? Donated! Hey, for a cool $5,000 during this recession, less periods sounds like a win-win kinda situation. And that’s why IVF donation clinics across the country claim their phones are ringing off the hook.
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Ann Curry scored an interview with Nadya Suleman, the mother of the octuplets everybody’s talking about, and a portion aired this morning on the “Today” show. We thought Suleman was bats*** when we heard she already had six children, lives with her mother, and isn’t currently employed. So, when we saw how poised and together she appears in this clip, we were surprised. Supposedly, Suleman was asking $2 million for interviews. Did “Today” pay up? Who knows. Maybe she’s hoping the exposure will inspire someone to make a movie of her life. Or maybe she’s so out of touch with reality that she doesn’t even realize what it’s going to be like raising 14 children. Keep reading »
Doctors in St. Louis successfully transplanted an ovary from one twin to another who had gone into early menopause at age 15. The transplanted ovary restored the woman’s full fertility and she gave birth at 38. According to researchers writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, this is the first time an entire ovary has been transplanted and resulted in a live birth.
Dr. Sherman Silber of the Infertility Center of St. Louis said that this success could help two groups of women: those who have undergone chemotherapy and lost ovarian function, and those who want to extend the time they are fertile. For the latter group, a doctor could remove one of two ovaries when the patient is in her 20s and freeze it. Then, when she’s in her 40s, the doctor could transplant it back. Because so many women are having babies later in life, this could be away to avoid costly rounds of in vitro fertilization. Putting one ovary in the freezer might soon become as commonplace as depositing money in the bank for retirement. [Reuters] Keep reading »
Happy 30th Birthday in-vitro fertilization! That’s right, it’s a big b-day for anyone conceived via IVF, especially Louise Brown, the world’s first IVF baby. Her parents, Lesley and John, had tried for nine years to have a child (sounds like fun), when they heard about experimental fertility research being conducted at Cambridge University. Physiologist Robert Edwards and gynecologist Patrick Steptoe were pioneering the “test-tube” baby and the Brown’s volunteered to try the controversial method. Three decades later, they’re among many IVF success stories. Over the years, 115,000 babies have been born in the U.S. alone thanks to IVF and just this summer, the fertility miracle helped a 70-year old woman conceive in India! As for Louise, who works as a shipping company administrator, she is a mother herself, to a healthy 18-month-old boy, which she was able to conceive naturally. Her younger sister Natalie Brown is also a notable achievement — she was the first IVF baby to give birth and she too was able to conceive without medical aid. Needless to say, the Brown kids are so grateful to the groundbreaking scientists that they consider them to be their granddads. And thanks to them, now everyone can have eggs scrambled, sunny side up, and even fertilized! [AFP]
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