Do IVF and Other Infertility Tech Lead to Health Risks for the Baby? Maybe.
By Mara Gordon | National Public Radio | Sept. 19, 2018
This article explores new research, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, on children conceived through certain infertility treatments and their risk for cardiovascular disease. While the study’s authors indicate that the findings are preliminary, they encourage families using infertility treatments to be vigilant about screening their children and mitigating other risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle.
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In 2012, the same team of scientists published a paper showing that 65 healthy children born with the help of ART were more likely than their peers to have early signs of problematic blood vessels.
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By Reveal | The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX | Sept. 15, 2018
Originally broadcast in June 2017, around the 40th anniversary of in vitro fertilization, this podcast follows a couple that “puts its trust in a fertility clinic that promises more than it can deliver.” It explores the world of fertility treatment and the clinics and intended parents it brings together with promises of forming families.
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44 Siblings and Counting
By Ariana Eunjung Cha | The Washington Post | Sept. 12, 2018
The midsummer reunion in a suburb west of the city looks like any other, but these family ties can’t be described with standard labels. Instead, Arroyo, a 21-year-old waitress from Orlando, is here to meet “DNA-in-laws,” various “sister-moms” and especially people like Sophia, a cherished “donor-sibling.”
This article follows Kianni Arroyo, one of many children created using sperm from “donor #2757,” in her quest to find her donor-siblings. It tracks country-specific caps on donor births, as well as efforts of organizations like Donor Sibling Registry that urge the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to limit the number of births per donor, mandate reporting of donor-conceived births, and require donors to provide post-conception medical updates.
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Beyond Bioethics: Toward a New Biopolitics
Edited By: Osagie K. Obasogie and Marcy Darnovsky | University of California Press | March 2018
From the publisher’s website:
For decades, the field of bioethics has shaped the way we think about ethical problems in science, technology, and medicine. But its traditional emphasis on individual interests such as doctor-patient relationships, informed consent, and personal autonomy is minimally helpful in confronting the social and political challenges posed by new human biotechnologies such as assisted reproduction, human genetic modification, and DNA forensics. Beyond Bioethics addresses these provocative issues from an emerging standpoint that is attentive to race, gender, class, disability, privacy, and notions of democracy—a “new biopolitics.”
This authoritative volume provides an overview for those grappling with the profound dilemmas posed by these developments. It brings together the work of cutting-edge thinkers from diverse fields of study and public engagement, all of them committed to this new perspective grounded in social justice and public interest values.
Assisted Reproductive Technology Surveillance — United States, 2015
By Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report | Feb. 16, 2018
From the introduction:
Since the first U.S. infant conceived with assisted reproductive technology (ART) was born in 1981, both the use of ART and the number of fertility clinics providing ART services have increased steadily in the United States. ART includes fertility treatments in which eggs or embryos are handled in the laboratory (i.e., in vitro fertilization [IVF] and related procedures). Although the majority of infants conceived through ART are singletons, women who undergo ART procedures are more likely than women who conceive naturally to deliver multiple-birth infants. Multiple births pose substantial risks for both mothers and infants, including obstetric complications, preterm delivery (<37 weeks), and low birthweight (<2,500 g) infants. This report provides state-specific information for the United States (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) on ART procedures performed in 2015 and compares birth outcomes that occurred in 2015 (resulting from ART procedures performed in 2014 and 2015) with outcomes for all infants born in the United States in 2015.
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Multiple Pregnancies Following Assisted Conception
By T. El-Toukhy, S. Bhattacharya and V. A. Akande | Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists | February 2018
First published in 2011, under the same title, this report raises an alarm about the risks of multiple pregnancies in assisted reproduction, resulting from the common practice of transferring multiple embryos. Maternal complications, according to the report, include increased risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension, gestational diabetes, peripartum haemorrhage, operative delivery, postpartum depression, and heightened symptoms of anxiety and parenting stress. Multiple pregnancy is also associated with a six-fold increase in the risk of preterm birth, which is a leading cause of infant mortality and long-term mental and physical disabilities, including cerebral palsy, learning difficulties and chronic lung disease.
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Read a summary, along with RCOG’s recommendation that IVF be fully funded by the National Health Service, as a step towards reducing multiple pregnancies and related risks.