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In-vitro fertilization like any other procedure can be dangerous and has many risks. Doctors do not recommend everyone who does not have children to try in-vitro fertilization. Couples who qualify for in-vitro fertilization usually have tried every other possible method before the look in to in-vitro fertilization. These people are considered infertile. Someone who is infertile is said to have the inability to become pregnant after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse. (eMedicinehealth, 2005) Some of these things are fertility drugs and therapy. Doctors will also look at the probability that you will actually be able to conceive a child if you decide to go through in-vitro fertilization. If the chances are slim to none they will usually recommend things like adoption. Other qualifiers for in-vitro fertilization are severely damaged reproductive organs or problems like a low sperm count in men.
So far there are two different in-vitro fertilization procedures discovered by doctors. The most recent is one that does not require any kind of surgery. When undergoing this, the woman is put under a local anesthesia and an ultra sound machine is used to locate the eggs. After all of this the eggs are retrieved by placing a needle through the vagina wall. (IVF.com, 2005) The man is then asked to give a sperm donation after withdrawing from sex for a few days. The eggs are then fertilized in a laboratory dish and later injected into the uterus to progress naturally. There is a surgical procedure for in-vitro fertilization. However most doctors will avoid this at all cost in order to deplete recovery time. With the newer form of in-vitro fertilization the recovery time is about an hour after the eggs are retrieved and about the same after they are inserted into the uterus. Doctors at Monash University in Australia are also working on a new procedure to reduce the rate of multiple births that take place with in-vitro fertilization.
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In-vitro fertilization has done a wonderful thing by allowing people to have children. Doctors have been able to increase the odds that a couple will have a child through in-vitro fertilization up to 4 out of 6. (IVF.com, 2005) So far about 20,000 babies have been born worldwide from in-vitro fertilization. The odds of conceiving a child through in-vitro fertilization has a rate similar to the rate by age of conceiving a child normally. For those ages thirty-five and under it is 37%. Those who are thirty-six to thirty-nine the rate is 28%, those older than forty is 13% and for those older than forty-four pregnancy is rare. The rate of miscarriages with in-vitro fertilization is also similar to that of normal pregnancies. Ectopic pregnancy occurs in 3-5% of cases with in-vitro fertilization. (eMedicinehealth, 2005) In-vitro fertilization also often will result in multiple births because doctors have always inserted several embyros.
There are many statistics descibing children born through in-vitro fertilization. Many of these go both ways and it’s unclear to really decide if these children are better or worse off than children born through normal conception methods. A study by a man called Klemetti said that in-vitro children have overall good health however they did have somewhat more health problems than normal children. Multiple in-vitro born children were said to have even worse health than the singletons. (UroToday.com 2006) One website said that, at a meeting for The Endocrine Society, children born through in-vitro fertilization are taller and have a better lipid profile. Part of this is easy to understand the other half is scientific mumblings. They also said that in-vitro can affect the genes that are involved in growth regulation. Children born through IVF were born, as expected, slightly earlier and with a lower birth weight than normal children. (The Doctors Guide Limited 1995) Another study conducted in Denmark discovered that children born through IVF had an increased risk of cerebral palsy. They also said that this risk was even higher for twins born through IVF. (Pediatrics 118 2006)
Throughout the success with in-vitro fertilization, many, many people have argued against the procedure. Activists, religious groups, and some others have argued that in-vitro fertilization is unethical. Their main argument is the fact that these babies are “conceived” outside of the human body. They are called by many people “test tube babies.” Most people against this think that it is unnatural and if that were meant to be the way we conceived children it would have been discovered a very long time ago. Others think that because some people have no success with the procedure that it is not worth it in the first place. There are several cases where women have been through in-vitro fertilization only to get disappointment and failure. An example of one of these groups is the Catholic Church who stood up against it after many of their members tried in-vitro fertilization. The stand against it because the say that “God wants life ‘to be an act of love by those committed to loving each other.’” They think that because these children are conceived without sexual intercourse that they are not brought about by an act of love. (StayCatholic.com, 2004) Another issue that is less often addressed is what happens to the extra eggs after one embryo is fertilized. Many times it is said that these embryos are just thrown out because one life has already been started. (The Internet Journal of Health 2007) When these cases are discovered they are used to fuel the argument that it is not right and it puts many women through unnecessary pain.
In-vitro fertilization is a procedure that allows otherwise infertile couples to conceive a child. It works by assisting couples where otherwise they have failed. I guess you could say that it mixes the ingredients and then gets them started for those whose ovens might be a little broken. Throughout all of the years that doctors have been researching ways to help couples conceive a child they finally came up with one that works. In-vitro fertilization is not something that people should just jump into. There are many factors that must be considered. People have argued that it is unethical but how can that been when it has helped so many. Just as any other medical procedure there has been failure but the odds are 2 out of 6. (IVF.com, 2005) So you tell me how unethical is something that helps to bring about new lives.
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Drake, Tim. "What's Wrong with in-Vitro Fertilization." Stay Catholic.Com. 2004. The Catholic Church. 21 June 2008
eMedicinehealth. (2005, August 10). Technique. Retrieved May 2, 2008, from In-vitro fertilization: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/in_vitro_fertilization/page3_em.htm
Hvidtjørn, Dorte, Jakob Grove, Diana E. Schendel, Michael Væth, Erik Ernst, Lene F. Nielsen, and Poul Thorsen. "Cerebral Palsy Among Children Born After in Vitro Fertilization: the Role of Preterm Delivery—a Population-Based, Cohort Study." Pediatrics 118 (2006): 475-482. 21 June 2008
Klemetti, Reija, Tiina Sev'n, Mika Gissler, and Elina Hemminki. Health of Children Born as a Result of in Vitro Fertilization. UroToday.Com. UroToday.Com, 2006. 21 June 2008
Miles, Harriet. In Vitro Fertilization Children are Taller with a Better Lipid Profile. The Endocrine Society. The Doctors Guide Limited, 1995. 21 June 2008
Saey, Tina H. "One is the Healthiest Number." Science News os 173 (2008): 11. 12 June 2008