May 2009 Blog Archive
Friday, May 29, 2009
Nation's Most Fertility Friendly Workplaces Rewarded
*Conceive* magazine has honored 50 workplaces in the US that offer their
employees some of the best fertility benefits, adoption and fertility
treatment. Many countires around the world like the UK, Sweden and Norway
provide women and even men great fertility perks. Now the US is following
the trend and giving employees monetary rewards and time off to have a
fertility treatment or adoption.
PR Newswire says, "Based on a one- to four-star ranking system, the
companies that received the most stars were those that offer more than
$100,000 for ART (assisted reproductive technologies, including IVF) or
$60,000 for treatment combined with generous paid leave. And for the
adoption criteria, four stars went to companies that give more than $15,000
toward the adoption of a child (or $10,000 combined with a very generous
paid leave for adoptive primary caregivers). "Fertility treatments and
adoptions can be costly. In the current economic climate we applaud those
companies who recognize how important it is to help employees build their
families," says Kim Hahn, founder of Conceive."
Infertile couples often struggle to have fertility treatments like In Vitro
Fertilization (IVF) because of how expensive it is. Likewise surrogacy, egg
donation and artificial insemination is very costly, this has potential to
boost the industry in the US and improve fertility rates via IVF.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Fertility Treatment Numbers Increasing
The number of children born from assisted reproductive technology has been
increasing dramatically worldwide. It is said that in one year the numbers
have increased by nearly 25 percent. It is estimated that nearly 250,000
babies are conceived using such fertility treatments.
Science Daily said, "There are several important points to highlight. There
has been a constant increase in ART activity: it increased by more than 25%
in the two years since the previous report for the year 2000. This is due
not only to an increase in the number of countries participating in this
report but also to an increase in ART activity in most individual
Much of the increase is due in part to developing countries beginning to
participate and implement infertility treatments. Fertility clinics are
beginning to pop-up in generally less-medically advanced nations. Many
infertile couples are travelling abroad for their IVF and other treatments.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Generally we think of studying abroad or plastic surgery abroad, but now
fertility abroad is the newest trend to take on tinsel town and London-town.
An increased number of infertile couples are opting to travel away from
bustling cities like London, New York and LA for infertility treatments, egg
donation and sperm banks, as they are finding high prices and not enough
supply. Waiting times have drastically increased as have prices due to the
Marie Claire said, "There is no data collated on the number of women who
seek *fertility treatment* abroad. However, Lorraine Culley, professor of
social science and health at De Montfort University, who is leading a
government-funded study of the subject, says that thousands of women a year
may be seeking treatment abroad. "All the evidence is that cross-border
reproductive care is growing," she said."
The famous 66-year-old British woman who is the oldest mother post-IVF had
her fertility treatment done in the Ukraine. If this trend continues, large
fertility markets may be shifting to more developing countries.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Fertility Clinics Feeling the Downturn
Dwindling numbers of patients and cash-flow are adversely affecting
fertility clinics nationwide. The number of couples able to afford
expensive fertility treatments has decreased with the economic climate. Many
infertile couples are putting parenthood on hold, thus hindering a typically
The New York Post said, "In fact, one Los Angeles facility is trumpeting an
unprecedented low price of $5,800 and even the highly-respected Columbia
University Center for Women is pushing an "introductory fee" of $6,600 for a
one-time IVF cycle." I expect some clinics will go out of business and
others will be forced to merge because of the downturn in business," said Dr
*. **Joel Batzofin**,* who runs the Batzofin Fertility Services clinic in
Also the demographics of people with money at the moment are past the age of
IVF, as Baby-Boomers are reaching retirement age and they are the ones with
more expendable money.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Single Embryo Better than Two
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is constantly in the limelight of the press,
from scrutiny to praise, IVF is the talk of the town. Reports and studies
from fertility experts say that implanting one embryo during IVF is better
than two. It had long been perceived that multiple embryos equated to
increased chances of pregnancy in infertile couples. However, a recent study
done in Canada may prove otherwise. The research shows evidence that the
healthier the single embryo planted the odds of successful birth are
Canada's CBC News said, "But some fertility doctors say transferring a
single embryo can be just as effective and less risky in healthy women under
the age of 35."With elective single-embryo transfer in the appropriate
patients, the success rates are over 60 per cent," said Dr. Jason Hitkari of
the Genesis Fertility Centre in Vancouver."
This actually shows correlation between health of the embryo and pregnancy
as opposed to the sheer number of embryos. Granted, studies are still
preliminary and no definitive answer can be ascertained, fertility experts
are looking into further investigations.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
A recent study is showing a link between twins born from In Vitro
Fertilization (IVF) and artificial insemination and health complications. The
study went on to say that twins conceived from fertility treatments were
more likely to be hospitalized due to serious perinatal issues like: low
birth weight and preterm births.
Forbes said of the study, "The underlying causes of parental infertility
and/or components of the ART procedure may be increasing the risks of
adverse outcome, and increased concern about children born after a long
period of infertility may also be contributing to their increased risk of
hospitalization," Hansen suggested.
She recommended that couples undergoing fertility treatment should be made
aware of the increased risks faced by ART twins."
It is still unclear according to the research why exactly these sets of
twins are more susceptible to early health issues, which is why further
studies are in store for this topic. This particular study will be released
in the journal of Human Reproduction at the end of the month.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Frozen Embryo's For Adoption
For couples undergoing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) a number of healthy
embryos are left over after insemination. Fertility experts and physicians
urge that couples with extra healthy embryos freeze them for later use. Some
however are never used, and are now available for adoption to infertile
ABC news in Houston said, "It works like a regular adoption. The cost is
born by the recipient. They pay about $5,000 for the application and $10,000
to $15,000 to transport the frozen embryos and for medical treatments
leading to implantation. There's no cost to the donor, and no profit -- at
Often times we see couples donate their embryos after their own IVF
treatments, but with embryo adoption the donor couple can actually choose
who gets their embryo. That way they can develop relationships and keep in
touch with the child and the family.
Monday, May 18, 2009
66-Year-Old Woman to Give Birth
Elizabeth Munro a 66-year-old woman will be overtaking the former oldest
mother award adorned by a 62-year-old. Munro has gone through In Vitro
Fertilization (IVF) to become pregnant at her age. The news about Munro's
pregnancy has made news globally, as industry observers, lawmakers and
physicians are wondering, when are you too old for fertility treatments?
Really though, how old is too old? IVF has been under heavy scrutiny over
the past 6 months with so-called unfit mothers (the Octomom) and embryo
mix-ups at fertility clinics. This only reignites the heat and debate over
Fox News said, "I am shocked by the idea of a 66-year-old woman giving
birth," he said. "I respect the choice medically but I think anything over
63 is risky because you cannot guarantee the child will have a loving mother
or family." Munro, who is believed to have no other children, is set to have
her baby by Caesarean section at an unnamed hospital next month. She was
given her IVF treatment at a clinic in Ukraine."
What do you think - when should doctors step-in (if ever) for older women?
Is there an appropriate age? Feedback time, let us know what you think about
age and IVF.
Friday, May 15, 2009
We've all heard for the birth control patch and nicotine patch, but the
newest patch on the market is currently in clinical trials and it is the
fertility patch. The patch delivers hormones every 90 minutes via
NBC affiliate in Cleveland said, "Now University Hospitals is enrolling
women in a clinical trial testing a fertility patch that uses electrical
stimulation to help get the hormone in the body. Dr. James Liu is Chair of
UH's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He says in people of child
bearing age, the brain releases GNRH, or gonadotrophin, a hormone that
stimulates the ovaries or testes. The Lutrepatch mimics the way the brain
releases the hormone."
Doctors and researchers say the benefit of the patch is that it does not
overstimulate the eggs and ovaries much like fertility shots. It rather
implements and deploys the same amount of hormones as our brains do
naturally. This may make wave for a new form of fertility treatments if
approved and further tested.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
After a possible machine malfunction at least 5 embryos have died at a
Sydney based In Vitro Fertilization clinic. Such instances can cause much
pain and grief for infertile couples who's hopes of child-bearing were with
IVF. Generally the governing fertility bodies claim to only see a handful of
machine errors adversly affecting embryos each year. So thankfully the
situation is not very commonplace, however must be rectified or prevented
from now on.
News.com.au said, "Patients at the Sydney IVF Canberra
clinic said were told yesterday that an incubator "broke down",
leaving many embryos dead and dashing the hopes of couples. Kylie de Boer,
general manager of Sydney IVF, said all machines will be re-checked for any
problems in the wake of the "traumatic event". "The loss of an embryo is a
huge disappointment for any couple and Sydney IVF has expressed its
sympathies to all involved," Dr de Boer said"
The clinic has offered replacement trials and treatments after the
malfunction, so the couples hoping to concieve will have a proper and fair
chance yet again.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Fertility Grant in Kansas
Wichita State University has received it's largest grant because of a
scientist at the college. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has
awarded researcher George Bousfield $6.6 million in funding for fertility
research. The NIH is a government agency that grants and awards funding for
people and clinics conducting and supporting ground-breaking or long lasting
ABC affiliate in Kansas said that according to the Wichita Eagle, "Bousfield
won the grant while working for the past 10 years on human fertility. The
university says he discovered a variation in a human fertility hormone that
no one knew about before. And he believes the hormone variation acts in a
way that might unlock secrets about human reproduction, and how to enhance
Fertility, In Vitro Fertilization
(IVF) and infertility treatments have been
making headlines for research, controversy and now funding in recent
Friday, May 08, 2009
Gender Relations with IVF
At the annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians &
Gynecologists in Chicago, researchers presented findings about ethnicity and
In Vitro Fertilization treatments. The research team took note of
ethnicities ranging from African-Americans, Asians and Hispanic women.
However, the research noted there were no differences between Asian, white and
Hispanic backgrounds with relation to success in treatments. The
investigation primarily highlighted the differences between fertility in
black and white women.
Reuters Health said, "According to the investigators' report, they found
that "compared to white women, black women were more likely to have a failed
cycle prior to embryo transfer, less likely to achieve a pregnancy, and less
likely to have a live birth."
Hopefully with more time and research physicians will be able to better
diagnose and treat such problems in fertility.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Male Contraceptive the New Birth Control Pill?
A monthly jab of testosterone is being tested as the new contraceptive for
men. Some doctors say this may take over the role of the female birth
control pill and even condoms (for purposes of pregnancy not sexually
BBC News said, "Lead researcher Dr Yi-Qun Gu, from the National Research
Institute for Family Planning in Beijing, China, said: "For couples who
cannot, or prefer not to use only female-orientated contraception, options
have been limited to vasectomy, condom and withdrawal. "Our study shows a
male hormonal contraceptive regimen may be a potential, novel and workable
More testing and studies are required before making any commercial use of
the product. But this research brings into play the notion of male
fertility. For years women have been in the forefront of all contraception,
insemination and infertility treatments and research, so this validates the
fact that male fertility is in the limelight.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Older Mothers and Fertility
Researchers in the US are saying that older mothers may live longer because
the same genes that are said to prolong lifespan also prolong female
fertility. The study however is still preliminary and researchers are
urging people not to think that women will live longer because of this.
After all fertility and lifespan are still considerably and heavily based on
genetics and family history.
United Press International reported on the study saying, "Lead author Ken R.
Smith of the University of Utah says the study found women who gave birth at
age 45 or older were 14 percent to 17 percent less likely to die during any
year after age 50 than women who did not deliver a child after age 40."
Also it was noted in the research that the genes of this women for lifespan
must be really strong, because of these women's brothers and siblings lived
longer as well. Bringing more validity to the fact that much of this is
based on environmental factors and genetics.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Free Fertility Treatments Offered for Mothers Day
In light of Mother's Day a Pittsburgh based fertility clinic is giving away
free In Vitro Fertilization treatment to infertile couples. The treatment is
said to cost roughly $12,000 and the giveaway will cover all the costs for
recognition of Mother's Day.
Pittsburgh Live reported saying, "I can't think of a better way to
commemorate Mother's Day than to hold this giveaway," Dr. Judith Albert,
co-founder and medical director of the center, said in a news release. "I
hope our efforts will help a woman achieve her dream of becoming a mother."
Entrants must be struggling with infertility for over a year, be between the
ages of 21 and 42 and have basic medical insurance."
For many infertile couples budgeting fertility treatments is the biggest
factor impeding their progress of parenthood and natural conception.
Giveaways like this not only aid such couples during a negative financial
climate, but also promote awareness for infertility treatments and the
plight of going through them.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
A free fertility seminar will be held in Jacksonville, Florida to shed light
on available treatments for infertile couples. Over the past year In Vitro
Fertilization, surrogacy and egg donation have been in the limelight of the
news media, highlighting controversies and problems in the industry. So this
seminar is a great way for couples struggling to conceive to learn about the
positives of infertility treatments.
Jacksonville News said, "Educating people interested in such treatments -
and the importance of seeking help early - is the idea behind the third
annual Fertility Awareness Seminar scheduled for Saturday in Jacksonville.
The center and three other Jacksonville-based clinics - Assisted Fertility
Program, Brown Fertility Associates and the Florida Institute for
Reproductive Medicine - are the sponsors of the event, which is free and
open to the public."
The event will also have a drawing for four free IVF cycles to the winners.
The session will focus on helping couples who are feeling the economic
crunch, and are looking to have their fertility treatments covered by
insurance. Fertility treatments may incite drastic lifestyle changes for
couples, so the seminar will also discuss how to deal with such transitions.
Hopefully with such sessions sparking up in different parts of the states,
more people will be educated on how to successfully conceive and do so
without damaging their budgets and lifestyle.