Friday, February 4, 2011

Adverse outcomes and unacceptable practices in the IVF industry

The Telegraph reported Jan 28th, citing a recent British Medical Journal study by Susan Bewley et al, that seven women died as a direct result of IVF between 2003 and 2005.
According to the report four of the IVF deaths were caused by ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, brought on by fertility-boosting drugs, while three were due to multiple pregnancies.
The IVF deaths are compared in the study with deaths from abortion and concluded that more deaths were related to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome than to abortion despite many fewer procedures.
According to the study two  women died as a result of having abortions in 2007 despite there being only a quarter the number of IVF cycles as abortions

The authors claim that IVF deaths are "rare but relevant", particularly with growing numbers of older women resorting to the method, and concluded that "More stringent attention to stimulation regimens, pre-conceptual care, and pregnancy management is needed so that maternal death and severe morbidity do not worsen further,"

Medical science is forever trying to find new methods to overcome the problem of infertility but many of these methods, particularly those in the area of IVF, can and do cause more problems than that of infertility itself. Stress, physical dangers, cost – all of these, and more, are associated with IVF. The child – born, and yet to be born – cannot but suffer from these procedures, and even apart from the moral and ethical implications involved through the use of IVF, this whole approach to bringing a new human being into the world is unacceptable
One of the appalling aspects of the IVF industry payment for so called quality eggs is revealed in a documentary “Eggsploitation”  which exposes the deceptive advertising, large monetary incentives and appeals to so called altruism that are used by the infertility industry to entice college women to engage in human egg donation, a practice that exploits them and puts them at considerable health risk. Women are told that the procedure is safe, when the reality is decidedly unsafe. No young woman should be used in procedures that jeopardize her own fertility -- indeed her own life -- in order to line the pockets of those who promote the infertility industry's human egg trade."

The Eggsploitation documentary spotlights three women who went through the egg donation process -- including high doses of fertility drugs and egg retrieval surgery. The young women's stories, according to CBCN, are a "wake-up call" for those who are unaware of the complications that can result from the "highly unregulated, multi-billion-dollar" infertility industry. All three of the women in the documentary nearly died from the "complications associated with their egg donation." One suffered a stroke that left her brain damaged; another developed breast cancer, and the other developed a health problem associated with ovarian hyper-stimulation.
I have previously reported on the safe and moral alternative which does not exploit women “NaPro Technology" which, rather than trying to bypass the causes of infertility, aims to identify and treat such causes. NaPro is non-invasive, and it does not impinge on any moral or ethical considerations. Apart from all of this, too, NaPro has been seen to be extraordinarily successful in helping to achieve pregnancy.