Monday, July 09, 2007

How Safe are Fertility Treatments?

Some food for thought from ABC news (even though this story is from 2004 it's still very relevant, like one commenter said, everything old becomes new again in the health world):

The lucrative $4-billion-a-year infertility treatment business that consists of controversial drugs and experimental techniques is for the most part unregulated. Each year, thousands of women seek out infertility treatments as the solution to their infertility difficulties, however researchers expressed concerns over the industry's lack of safety and inability to keep up with the quickly growing industry.

In one case, a couple dished out $30,000 and endured several months of a grueling drug regimen and the end result was no baby. The couple stated that it is a common practice for the doctors to stress the positives of the procedure and downplay the possible negatives. They also said the doctors usually required an immediate payment and didn't give an option for a payment plan.

Statistics have shown that 73 percent of assisted reproduction treatments were unsuccessful in producing a baby. These results prompted some serious questions over the safety and lax regulation of the industry.

Possible Negative Effects of the Procedures

  • Enlarged ovaries
  • Thinning of the uterine lining
  • Multiple gestation pregnancies

Other concerns that have been raised by experts center on the possible link between the infertility treatments and cervical cancer; however these studies have been inconclusive.

The effects on the children conceived through assisted reproduction have also stirred concerns such as the potential of being having an increased susceptibility rate to disease.

You can also read Waiting for Daisy, written by Peggy Orenstein, a journalist who "did it all" and experienced many of the icky health endangering things described above.


Anonymous said...

I think those desperate couples should learn to accept their fate. Not that I'm discouraging them, but for the sake of their health, it's a risk not worth taking.

emily said...

i just recently found your blog and have found it to be very interesting, particularly because we are in the midst of deciding what path to take after trying to conceive for almost 2 years. i'm thinking natural is the way to go...but i'm growing impatient! any words of wisdom for me? so far we've both been on herbs and acupuncture treatment for 2.5 months and are hoping that will do the trick!

Anonymous said...

This should be a good reminder for those couples who can't have a baby. They should be aware of the risks involve. Even if it's successful, long term effects are still dangerous.

Anonymous said...

I don't judge anyone for doing what they want with their body. I don't judge people for choosing IVF anymore than I judge anyone for drinking corn syrup laden sodas. I also believe that everyone has the right to find their own way to a family, whether it is through IVF, accupuncture, adoption or a child-free lifestyle. However, I don't like the medical communities manipulation of women - including the marketing of pharmaceutical birth control, which also takes a toll on a woman's body.


GreenFertility said...

Hi Emily,

Um...I'm not a medical specialist, but I'd suggest #1 are you sure you're having intercourse enough (some people ovulate really early or really late) and have you had your thyroid function checked?

Does your hubby bike a lot, drink, not eat well, or otherwise do things that might be damaging his sperM?

Before you start with testing or other invasive procedures, I'd suggest that...

Good luck!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hey Rhonda I think your comment is insensitive and obviously you have children? a woman dealing with infertility would put their lives way ahead of anything if it meant they could experience that joy that many people in this world take for granted because they have never had fertility problems, so tell us to accept our fate is extremely innappropriate of you unless you have been through it yourself