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.
A new study has been published on risks to children conceived via IVF. According to the researchers at King’s College London and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, fears of commonly assumed risks are “largely unfounded” and the long-term health effects of IVF are still relatively unknown.
A summary of the study discusses the role of epigenetics in the development of health problems in twins conceived naturally and via IVF. While epigenetic influence has been identified in conditions such as cancer and mental illness, the researchers observe no such differences in children conceived by IVF. They conclude on a reassuring note, for people who have used and have children via IVF, along with a call for more studies to confirm whether smaller epigenetic changes they observed during the study remain over time.
In an article exploring the value of genetics in the formation of relationships, co-founder of the Donor Sibling Registry presents a compelling case for connections between (egg and sperm) donors and the children they help create, as well as half siblings (donor offspring and biological children).
The article features a range of reactions, mostly positive. One participant, for example, admits joining the registry to connect with others who have had similar experiences and “maybe even find a biological half-sibling or relative.,..” Another is ecstatic about meeting a half sibling at 29 years! The author provides details about the registry, which was founded in 2000 to assist individuals conceived as a result of sperm, egg, or embryo donation that are seeking to make mutually desired contact with others with whom they share genetic ties.
Egg donation can bring joy to other people, but it is not a process to enter into lightly. There are children being created that one day may want to know you. Your perspective may change over time. And it is a medical procedure that includes putting large dosages of hormones into your body that may affect your health or future fertility.
This article by Dr. Diane Tober is a must-read, especially for people contemplating becoming egg providers. It describes the nuts and bolts of the process and all the risks along the way. It offers suggestions to improve outcomes, featuring data gathered from egg providers that have participated in Tober’s ongoing research on their decisions and experiences.
Japan has witnessed the birth of its first baby using anonymous donor eggs. As the country prepares for others, important questions about legal parentage and the status of birth mothers are also being raised.
According to this article, a 2007 ruling by the Japanese Supreme Court currently grants legal status to the woman who gives birth. While there is no precedent or specification in the civil code for when a child is born as a result of donated eggs, a draft bill granting legal status to the birth mother in third-party reproduction could be in the pipeline.
This article follows the story of Arathi Krishnan Chhetri, a 34-year-old woman who sought help from a well-known IVF clinic in the Indian state of Bangalore. It provides painstaking details on her interaction with clinic providers, highlighting the lack of transparency and inept or lackadaisical care that have come to define fertility treatment in many situations. Through Chhetri’s experience with Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, which landed her in the Intensive Care Unit, the author guides readers through possible symptoms and cautions on current practices in IVF.