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How Safe are Fertility Treatments?

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:31pm
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 7 3 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.
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