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The IVF Fertility Blog

Selective Reduction | Say "Yes" to Single Embryo Transfers

Posted by NHFC

According to an article in UK publication The Telegraph last week, there has been an increase in women reducing their pregnancies after undergoing IVF treatments.

Between 2006 and 2010, The Department of Health found a 70% increase in women who were pregnant with multiples choosing to reduce their pregnancy. The process, termed selective reduction, is closely linked with IVF treatments where multiple embryos are transferred, therefore resulting in (some instances) unwanted multiple pregnancies.
Considering the stress multiple pregnancies can put on both the mother and child, not to mention the cost of pre and postnatal care, it is understandable why more and more women are choosing to undergo pregnancy reduction; however, this emotionally and physically stressful procedure can be avoided with the standardization of single embryo transfers within the fertility care field.

Too often do we hear of risky multiple pregnancies that lead to unfavorable outcomes, which we feel at New Hope, can be avoided with the proliferation of single embryo transfers within the fertility care field.   You can read more on the fertility industry's call for more single embryo transfers here. Together, we can minimize unnecessary selective reduction procedures!
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Topics: Single Embryo Transfer, Fertility, Law, New York, New Hope Fertility, Embryo Transfer, IVF, Research

Free IVF Treatment in Israel

Posted by NHFC

According to a recent New York Times report, Israel maintains its status as the capital of in vitro fertilization due to a unique treatment policy, which provides free and unlimited IVF procedures for women up to 45.

In the United States, IVF numbers tend to remain low, presumably due to the high costs associated with the procedure.  Israel, on the other hand, has prioritized IVF treatment as one of their main public health expenditures in order to promote and support the institution of family, and as current critics would argue, "counterbalance the the high fertility rates of families in Palestinian territories" (source: Huffington Post). Israel's policy has also inspired an ethical debate for those who believe the government's policy places pressure on women to have children as the accessibility of IVF treatment is promoted, with others who believe the approach turns the process of child-bearing into a commodity.  These ethical questions are prominent within the field of fertility care around the globe, with other such discussions arising from UK's upcoming IVF lottery.

Whether or not Israel's IVF policy is a religious and political issue remains to be seen; however, the idea that IVF coverage exists undoubtedly sparks the interest of those individuals who would otherwise seek IVF treatment if coverage and cost were not such an issue.

At New Hope Fertility Center, we strive to make IVF more accessible with our low medication protocols, which lower overall treatment costs and decrease discomfort.  You can read more about our Natural cycle and Mini-IVF™ treatments here.

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Topics: Natural Cycle IVF, IVF Medication, Fertility, Medication, Law, International Law, Mini-IVF, IVF, Infertility, Conventional IVF

IVF Lottery Causes More Commotion

Posted by NHFC

Despite the uproar among the fertility field concerning To Hatch's IVF lottery, the organization known most recently for its IVF treatment ticket raffle has plans to expand its offer to Australia.

Representatives from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and CORE (Comment on Reproductive Ethics) have already made statements dismissing the lottery as unacceptable and demeaning; however, To Hatch founder Camille Strachan has held tight to her belief and hope that "the To Hatch Lottery can ease the burden on the NHS and reduce the stress slightly on some of those who are struggling.”  She has added that she would launch similar opportunities for cancer patients in need of expensive drug treatments, and has already been considering expanding the IVF lottery to members in Australia, "Bringing this to Australia this year is at the forefront of my mind because I do get a lot of members from Australia and infertility is just as big a problem in Australia as it is in the UK" (source: Herald Sun).

Chief executive of Australia's VARTA (Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority) anticipates the lottery, if brought to Australia, will stir some debates in the area of reproductive ethics and has expressed concern about what types of reactions and situations will develop if the treatment from the IVF lottery does not take, "A marketing exercise like this could backfire because it's no guarantee that the winner of such a lottery would be suitable for IVF treatment" (source: Herald Sun).

To Hatch's IVF Lottery is set to open July 30th and we'll continue to update on the debate as the story develops.
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Topics: IVF Medication, Fertility, Law, International Law, IVF

Donor Parents and Offspring: Rights & Assisted Reproduction

Posted by NHFC

In recent Forbes article, clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst Todd Essig examines the controversial topic of donor rights, examining a new law to take effect in Washington State this month that will require sperm and egg donors to provide fertility clinics with "identifying information and medical history" (source: BioNews).

Our resident clinical psychologist Dr. Allison Rosen makes some interesting points alongside Essig concerning the state laws failure to consider the other important parties involved in the assisted reproduction and donor process: the parents of donor conceived children.  As the two mental health experts notably point out, there are suggested guidelines provided by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) that strongly encourage "pretreatment counseling sessions to help individuals make informed decisions about when and how to discuss donor origins with their child/ren."  Rosen continues to illustrate the need to further protect the parents of donor offspring, "Parents want to do what they believe is in the best interest of their child.  Donors' needs and the needs of their children must also be protected" (source: Rosen via Forbes).

Laws pertaining to donor anonymity currently vary from state to state, as the fertility environment in the United States remains mostly self-regulated.  The notion that governing bodies may start to enact laws that suggest egg and sperm donors may be compared or considered biological parents like those who put children up for adoption clearly blurs the line between law and what Essig and Rosen understand to be an intimate family decision.  For now, it seems leaving the choice of donor disclosure up to the raising parents is more favorable than allowing local governments to force such a choice upon parents who already struggle with some difficult decisions concerning their donor children and their own reproductive health rights.

You can read the full story here.

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Topics: Egg Donation, Egg Donor, Law, Technology

IVF Lottery to Launch in UK

Posted by NHFC

By the end of the month, individuals who have been waiting for IVF treatment can enter a lottery for a chance to win £25,000 towards fertility treatment in England.

The lottery was launched by To Hatch, a charity that provides community forums and support to those suffering from infertility, and was recently given authorization by the Gambling Commission to go forth with its venture (source: Yahoo/Sky News).

The charity plans to sell tickets for the lottery online for £20 - a small price to pay for a chance to win what is otherwise an expensive treatment.  Along with being treated at "one of the country's top clinics," the winner will stay in a luxury hotel before being driven to treatment.  The lottery is open to anyone - single, gay couples, older members - and if single persons win, they will be awarded with donor sperm, eggs, or a surrogate versus IVF care.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which currently oversees regulations among fertility clinics across the UK, has been called upon to look into Hatch's recent offer, with one representative apparently reporting concern and claiming the giveaway "trivializes what is for many people a central part of their lives" (source: Belfast Telegraph).  Other critics includes CORE founder Josephine Quintaville (Comment on Reproductive Ethics), who views the offer of another woman's womb as "unacceptable" and in violation of "European Law on the commercialization of human tissue" (source: Yahoo/ Sky News).

Hatch, on the other hand, views their effort as a simple service to those who are less fortunate - providing infertile individuals a greater chance at having a family, especially those in areas where IVF treatments are no longer an option due to cuts by the NHS.

You can read more about Hatch here.
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Topics: Egg Donor, Fertility, Law, International Law, IVF, Infertility

Fertility Treatments: Are Global Regulations in the Near Future?

Posted by NHFC

As news in the fertility treatment world reveal stories of doctors losing licenses and other couples continuing to have multiple births, discussions are arising among governments concerning the regulatory environment of fertility care.

Up until now, the fertility sector in the US has developed mostly under self-regulated standards; however, cases like that of the Octomom doctor, who recently had his license revoked, shine a light on the increased awareness of governments concerning the fragility of fertility treatment and patient protection.

The UK has dealt with fertility care quite differently than the US, with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) currently overseeing fertility clinics across the country.  With the understanding of the risk multiple births carry, the authority has enforced a single embryo transfer policy since 2007.  In other words, if the Octomom doctor was practicing in the UK, he would not have transferred 12 embryos in the first place.  The policy has proven effective in decreasing the occurrence of multiple births, with the IVF multiple birth rate falling from 23.6 percent to 22 percent between 2008 and 2009.  The agency isn't stopping there: a new HFEA goal aims to drop the multiple birth rate to 15 percent by spring of 2012 (source: BioNews).

The regulatory environments of the US and UK highlight some interesting differences.  With the rising popularity of fertility care (from IVF to surrogacy), the shift towards minimally evasive fertility protocols (including Mini-IVF™ techniques), and a trend among experts towards customizing care, it remains to be seen if this type of intervention will become commonplace in the United States.

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Topics: Fertility, Law, International Law, Mini-IVF, New York, New Hope Fertility, IVF, Infertility

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