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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.



The Baby Makers: Critics Push for Regulation of India's Booming Surrogacy IndustryABCApril 15th, 2014As more than 800 million Indians go to the polls this month, the main political party candidates are being urged to finally push through legislation to regulate the country's booming commercial surrogacy industry.
Stocking the Genetic Supermarket: Reproductive Genetic Technologies and Collective Action Problemsby Chris Gyngell and Thomas DouglasWiley Online LibraryApril 10th, 2014Reproductive genetic technologies targeting non-medical traits could lead to collective action problems. Does this risk justify state intervention in the genetic supermarket?
Ontario to fund in-vitro fertilization with a caveat — one embryo at a time to cut risky multiple birthsby Tom BlackwellNational PostApril 9th, 2014The Ontario government announced Thursday it will become only the second province in Canada to fund in-vitro fertilization for people unable to have children otherwise.
Startup Offering DNA Screening of 'Hypothetical Babies' Raises Fears Over Designer Children[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Catherine de LangeThe GuardianApril 5th, 2014Anne Morriss and Lee Silver are about to launch a company called Genepeeks that uses the DNA of sperm donors and recipients to create "virtual babies."
Genetic Inheritance: How Much do you Want to Know?by Stuart JeffriesThe GuardianApril 4th, 2014Scientist Sharon Moalem says we will soon be able to alter our children's lives with genetic manipulation – would you do it if you could?
Inconvenient Truths About Commercial Surrogacyby Kathleen Sloan and Jennifer LahlTwin CitiesApril 1st, 2014It's time for the shenanigans and propaganda to stop and for the inconvenient truths about commercial surrogacy to be told.
A Sperm Donor, Uncertain of What It Is to Be ‘Bio-Dad’by David DodgeThe New York TimesMarch 31st, 2014My good friends needed some free, fresh sperm. Beyond that sounding like some twisted promotion at a farmer’s market, why not help? Plenty of reasons, it turns out.
INTERVIEW: “I’m a Queer Egg Donor”by Raquel CoolWe Are Egg DonorsMarch 28th, 2014This interview is about stigma, being queer, and navigating the heteronormative medical landscape of egg donation.
NHS Fertility Treatments Allow Two-Mum Families to Reach Record Levels by Emily DuganThe IndependentMarch 27th, 2014Record numbers of lesbian couples are becoming parents through fertility treatment, official figures show. The number of two-mum families jumped by more than a third in 2012 in the UK.
Surrogacy Births Bill Sails Through House Committeeby Michelle MillhollonThe Advocate [Louisiana]March 27th, 2014The compromise includes criminalizing financial compensation other than medical, legal and travel expenses for the surrogacy.
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