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Discus the issues surrounding IVF in the treatment of infertility

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Introduction

Discus the issues surrounding IVF in the treatment of infertility. IVF or In-Vitro Fertilisation is a way for infertile couples to have a child. Around 6,000 babies are born every year to otherwise infertile couples as a result of IVF. Though the methods used in IVF treatment often cause a lot of controversy some say it just raises people's hopes of having a child because there is only a 15% success rate. IVF was developed in the 1970's with the first IVF baby (Louise Brown) being born in 1978. About 30,000 Ivf babies have been born in the UK since. (bbc.co.uk/news) There are several different ways methods of IVF, but the main process involves the women taking fertility drugs to help her produce more eggs. The eggs are then harvested and are fertilised in the lab. The woman is then given hormone drugs to prepare her womb to receive the fertilised eggs. ...read more.

Middle

Leading fertility experts say the drugs given to increase egg production, and therefore boost the odds of conception, may also damage the eggs. The hormone based drugs may also effect the lining of the womb preventing the embryos from implanting and therefore stopping pregnancy progressing. The drugs also can cause ovarian hyper stimulation where the ovaries can't cope with the amount of eggs released. Lord Winston, an IVF pioneer says that in the research his team have done, they found that the main risk is that the procedure causes chromosomal damage in at least half if not 70 percent of the eggs. (Daily Mail, 4/12/2006) Couples using fertility treatment to conceive have a 30% greater chance of conceiving than they did at the start of the decade because of advances in IVF treatments. This shows that the practice of freezing embryos for medical research into IVF treatment is producing positive results with figures of around 1 in 5 successful IVF treatments. ...read more.

Conclusion

Adoption may be cheaper and in some views more ethical but a lot of women are just keen to have a child for themselves in their own womb so they can see it as their own. Some people use IVF so they can determine the way there baby is going to turn out i.e. the gender of the child, whether or not it suffers from any diseases and in some cases even the hair or eye colour of the baby. This in my opinion and the opinion of many others is abusing the use of IVF. Although this kind of treatment is not available in the UK couples go to other countries like the USA or other European countries to receive it. In conclusion I think that IVF is a good method of helping infertile couples conceive a child but when it is misused it is simply unacceptable. On the whole it is becoming more widely available and with more extensive research it is becoming more and more successful. Mark Williamson ...read more.

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