Archive for the ‘IVF and Infertility News’ Category

Donor Gametes Have Siblings

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

This story kind of freaked me out a bit. Makes me feel kind of glad I’m not using donor gametes. You see those stories in movies, rarely in real life, where twins find each other much later on and realize they had a sibling they never knew about.

Excerpt from MSNBC:

Parents who conceived with donated sperm or eggs are increasingly seeking other families who used the same genetic material, sometimes locating as many as 55 “siblings” for their offspring, a study found on Tuesday.

The findings published in the journal Human Reproduction raise the issue of reusing a single donor’s sample numerous times — something policy makers may soon need to address, the researchers said.

In some cases, parents found more than 10 donor siblings, and one parent found 55 brothers and sisters for their child, Tabitha Freeman of the Center for Family Research at the University of Cambridge in Britain, who led the study, said.

Octuplets Born, Fertility Treatment in the Hot Seat

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

In case you haven’t yet heard, a woman gave birth via cesarean to octuplets this week. That’s eight babies. EIGHT!! They could make a human octopus, or a stop sign, or a spider, or any other thing with eight sides or appendages.

All joking aside, it’s a miracle that the brood is doing well. In fact, the two who needed breathing treatments are now off. Their weights ranged from 1 pd 8 oz to 3 pd 4 oz. Unbelievable.

The hospital is being very respectful of the parent’s wishes to not disclose their identity, nor how the babies were conceived. I’m no expert, but I can’t imagine this was natural. The critics are of course coming out of the woodwork, fertility treatment be damned and what not. This story here in the LA Times even, without saying so exactly, suggests that selective reduction should have taken place (or at least that was my personal interpretation). “Doctors should be making efforts to curb these higher-order multiple gestations,” said Dr. Geeta Swamy, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University. Whether you’re pregnant with one or ten, that’s a choice left to the parents, not the medical community at large. That’s a choice I hope to not ever be in a position to make. If fertility treatment was involved, I’m sure these people were finally able to achieve a pregnancy, and come hell or high water were having all of them. I don’t blame them.

“When we see something like this in the general fertility world, it gives us the heebie jeebies,” said Michael Tucker, a clinical embryologist in Atlanta and a leading researcher in infertility treatment. Tucker added that in his opinion, “if a medical practitioner had anything to do with it, there’s some degree of inappropriate medical therapy there.” We’ve had countless conversations between ourselves and Dr. T about the number of embryos to transfer. One is the number that everyone comes back to time and time again. It’s safe, in our case it will be effective and it’s attainable. I can’t speak for these people and I’m in no position to point fingers, but I can’t imagine what the conversations sounded like in which it made sense to transfer enough embryos to produce eight babies.

I’m thrilled that this couple can now call themselves parents and that they have eight children to call their own. I pray that each and every one of those 80 toes, 80 fingers, 16 lungs and eight tiny hearts make it home healthy, safely and prepared to deal with a lot of hair pulling!

UPDATE: Obviously, we’ve since learned that Nadya Suleman did this genius act of fertility acrobatics without a spouse and with the consent of her doctor. Awesome.

British Man Too Fat to Adopt

Friday, January 16th, 2009

This is ridiculous! As I was chatting with a fellow infertility friend that this is such an injustice. This man is overweight so London won’t approve his ability to adopt. Are you kidding me? He’s probably far more qualified to be a father than the skinny people I see driving with their kids out of a car seat or seat belt, smoking with their kids in the room, who beat and abandon their children. UGH! Down right infuriating.

You can read the whole story about the man Britain says is too fat to adopt here. I hope for his own health he’s able to lose the weight, and even more so, I hope he and his wife are able to become parents.

Fertility Treatments Linked With Birth Defects

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

We infertile couples have to face a lot of decisions that other couples don’t have to. So, if you knew that your assisted efforts to get pregnant would increase the likelihood of having a child with birth defects, would you still do it? A lot of parents-to-be are going to have to ask that question.

A study released by the CDC suggests that babies conceived via methods ”such as in vitro fertilization and the use of donor eggs—are two to four times more likely to be born with certain types of birth defects than infants conceived naturally.” What do they mean by “certain” birth defects? Their list includes septal heart defects, or a hole in the heart, cleft lip, cleft palate, and gastrointestinal defects.

“It is important for parents to realize that the individual risk for these birth defects remain low,” Reefhuis said, a member of the study. “It sounds like a lot to say ‘a two- to fourfold increased risk,’ but you have to keep in mind that the starting risk for these individual defects is actually pretty low.”

American Adoption Statistics

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

I thought this was a really interesting article– and one that really took me by surprise.

The CDC looked at recent adoption figures and says that men are two times as likely to adopt than women. The report says 2.3% of men and 1.1% of women in America have adopted. My initial thought was- men often marry women with children and adopt them as their own. And I love being right… that’s what the article says! Another trend that appears to be rising is adoption by same-sex couples. Since gay women have the option to carry their own children, gay men have no other choice but to adopt if they want a family.

Another statistic this article points out is that black Americans are more likely to adopt than white. The broad majority of both black and white adopters would accept a child of another race.

Here’s a snippet from the article about the “ideal” child women would like to adopt:
“The CDC survey asked women seeking to adopt what they wanted in a child. The preferred child is younger than 2 years old, free of disabilities, and is an only child. Women would prefer to adopt a girl rather than a boy.” That said, 90% would accept a child with minor disabilities, 79% would accept a child aged 2-5, 75% would accept siblings. More than 60% of women would not take a child over the age of 13, nor would they take a child with severe disabilities.

These are interesting facts. More so to me as the adoption conversation is one that has occurred more and more frequently. We agree that we want to be parents, so if we find our way to our baby through adoption or IVF, we’ll be parents either way. Adoption would possibly satisfy our urge to be parents much more quickly. Given the government rebates and employer reimbursement- the cost to us would be minimal. There’s still a lot of soul-searching to be done… it’s something we’ve always talked about doing even before the infertility. I think we’re set on a course now for actionable decisions though.

Infertility Blogs and News

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

I found a great site today that features more than 100 blogs, Web sites and news sources all related to infertility.

I’m sharing this with you for a few reasons:
1. That’s what I do.

2. I think it’s a really valuable resource that you should know about.

3. They told me if I told my readers about them, that it would be “particularly persuasive” for them to add Baby Or Bust.

So, the site is called Alltop (meaning “All the Top News”), and they simulate this same feed for dozens of topics like the aforementioned Infertility, and Adoption.

Another resource that I recently found is called Wise About Health, and they also have a dedicated space for featuring sites related to Pregnancy and Infertility.