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About Assisted Reproduction


Most assisted reproductive technologies (ART) are used to treat infertility. Others are used when there are no fertility problems. Embryo screening or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, for example, is used in order to prevent the births of children with specific genetic characteristics.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) refers to assisted reproduction procedures in which sperm and eggs are joined outside a woman's body. Women undergoing IVF are given hormonal drugs to promote the development of multiple eggs, which are retrieved with a minor surgical procedure. The eggs are mixed with sperm; one or more of those that fertilize are then transferred to the woman's uterus.

IVF has been in use since 1978 and has resulted in almost four million births worldwide. A number of IVF-related techniques have been introduced since then. Some of these, such as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and commercial gestational surrogacy, raise significant ethical and policy concerns. In the United States alone, the assisted reproduction business is estimated to create over $3 billion in revenues a year.

Research on the risks associated with ART is notoriously inadequate. There have been few follow-up studies either on women who have used ARTs or their children. The United States is also known for having few laws governing assisted reproduction and little oversight of ART facilities.



Frozen Eggs and Heated Debatesby Angel Petropanagos, Biopolitical Times guest contributorJuly 12th, 2016What’s missing and what’s misrepresented in public debates about social egg freezing?
Uterus transplants: ‘My sister gave me her womb’ by Tim LewisThe Guardian July 10th, 2016Lolita Wästerlund is one of the first women in the world to have a uterine transplant.
First he pioneered a new way of making life. Now he wants to try it in peopleby Karen WeintraubSTATJuly 8th, 2016Three-parent IVF has been tried in monkeys, but further research is needed to fully assess safety and effectiveness.
US firm begins to market Cambodia-based surrogacy serviceby Will Jackson & Vandy MuongThe Phnom Penh PostJuly 6th, 2016Surrogacy Cambodia markets cross-border surrogacy despite the Cambodian government's tacit disapproval of surrogacy.
Fresh concerns raised over controversial 'three parent baby' therapy which aims to eliminate inherited diseaseThe Irish ExaminerJuly 6th, 2016Research has shown adverse effects on metabolism and lifespan, among other concerns.
Men can test their sperm count at home with new device Trakby Moira WeigelThe Guardian [US]July 5th, 2016A ‘male fertility testing’ system encourages men to share responsibilty for conception by monitoring their reproductive health
It's been 20 years since Dolly. Where's my clone?by Sharon BegleySTATJuly 5th, 2016Cloning some animals is much harder than cloning others.
Fertility experts urge UK to adopt new DNA screening for IVF embryos by Nicola DavisThe GuardianJuly 4th, 2016Research suggests embryos with more mitochondrial DNA may be less likely to lead to pregnancy.
Center for Genetics and Society Letter in Opposition to California AB 2531The Center for Genetics and Society urges the California Senate to oppose a proposed bill that would expand payments to women to provide their eggs for research.
The "Outing" of Sperm Donor 9623by Hasmik DjoulakianBiopolitical TimesJuly 1st, 2016A lawsuit by families who used the sperm of a "schizophrenic felon" lands at the complicated intersection of fertility clinic negligence, genetic reductionism, disability, and eugenics.
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