Monday, December 17, 2007


I read a few interesting articles lately:

Fertility experts will meet in Arusha, Tanzania, this weekend under the auspices of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology to discuss the challenges of infertility in Africa at the first conference on infertility in developing countries. Their goal is to develop a low-cost version of IVF, making in vitro fertilization available to couples worldwide - including those in developing countries, where infertility is often so strong a stigma that it often results in social isolation & sometimes even in suicide. Perhaps this research will help make IVF more affordable and safer everywhere.

A 48-year-old Minnesota woman is pregnant after using an egg that was frozen, thawed and fertilized before being transferred to her uterus. Dr. Jacques Stassart of Reproductive Medicine and Infertility Associates in Woodbury, Minnesota said that the technique is still experimental but that his clinic will offer it on a case-to-case basis. There have been other cases like this, but not too many. I think egg freezing is an amazing option, but that care needs to be used in choosing the women to be treated. Someone needs to be looking out for the future children as well - those who may be born to women at practically any age.

A change in Victorian law will now allow access to IVF treatment for single moms and lesbian couples. It seems to make more sense to allow them access to insemination - why go straight to IVF if there are no fertility issues?

And last, but definitely not least, I really enjoyed Bea's posts about the value we place on being parents (she actually asked how many years of our lives we would be willing to give up to successfully become parents). I chose the odd-woman-out answer (as I often do) but I really enjoyed reading all of the other answers as well. In many ways, this reminds me of how frustrated I felt reading Stumbling on Happiness (by Daniel Gilbert) in which he presents research showing that we're actually less happy once we have children, but doesn't compare it to the alternative of not being able to have children.

P.S. Tomorrow's our growth scan. This will be the first in over 10 weeks(!) I 'get' to do it a week early because despite having done two 100-gram-GTT's this pregnancy, I am still at risk for gestational diabetes.

1 comment:

Bea said...

Wow. One hundred dollars. Wow.

As for Stumbling on Happiness (which I haven't read, except for the surrounding press), I guess the thing I found good about that book was the idea that you could be fully happy in a variety of ways, and that kids didn't necessarily equal as much happiness as living childfree.

We get the message so often that life isn't complete without kids, or that you "don't know what happiness is" til you've had kids, and the truth is that most of the population are parents and they are obliged, in some way, to believe in and push this message, not because it's the *truth*, but because otherwise they're terrible parents.

Now, a lot of people no doubt find parenting the greatest happiness in their lives. Then again, none of these people have experienced every possible human experience, so how do they know it's the greatest happiness *possible*?

They say, "You don't understand til you become a parent yourself!" as if anyone else who says they're happy is just deluding themselves, and they're the only ones who aren't. SUH tells us that we're all equally capable of self-delusion - and also of fulfillment.

What this made me start thinking was that, although infertility sucks no matter which way you look at it, having a child isn't the only *truly* happy solution. I think the book helped me actually believe that for the first time.

Of course, kids remained my *preferred* solution to infertility...

Does that make sense?