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The unflattering picture of Fertility Treatment

Posted on: 12 September, 2013

There is a New York Times editorial in today’s edition, (September 12, 2013) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/opinion/selling-the-fantasy-of-fertility.html?_r=0&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1378995883-mNVJExYGcBAwqNaLlW1B7w, which discusses in a very unflattering way the futility of Fertility Treatment.  I found the authors use of statistics to support their position to be erroneous and under-researched, and well, for lack of a better term, “sour grapes” on their part.  Maybe they did not succeed with treatment, but I believe that every single person who truly desires to “parent” can achieve  a family.  It might not be the ideal of their childhood but through donor egg, donor embryo, donor sperm, gestational surrogacy, adoption and foster care, a family can be yours.

Fertility treatment is BIG BUSINESS both in the United States and abroad, but that doesn’t mean it is not successful. For many women and men, they do take home the fantasy and especially in Egg Donation, the pregnancy rate can be as high as 80%.  I find the response from the President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine to be especially on target.

We believe that “Selling the Fantasy of Fertility” (September 12) paints an incomplete picture of the likely success of infertility treatments.
 
Despite the dramatic advances in medicine of the last 30 years, it is true not every infertility patient will get pregnant, but patients and the public deserve to have all the facts. Among those facts the authors failed to mention are that ART treatments alone have resulted in the birth of more than 5 million babies around the world, and while it sometimes takes more than one attempt, more than 60% of women who undergo ART treatments eventually end up with a baby.
 
We, like the authors, recognize the tremendous emotional distress that can result for patients whose treatments are not successful, and hence the need to have transparency and full disclosure of available data for decision making in infertility therapy and coping with the emotional aspects that accompany it.
 
 
Linda C. Giudice, MD, PhD
President
American Society for Reproductive Medicine

 

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