Artificial Conception

U.S. House: Passed Ban on Production of 3-Parent Human Embryos & Reauthorized Programs Using Ethical Adult Stem Cells

US: Legislation Passes to Ban Production of 3 Parent Embryos The US House of Representatives passed legislation banning the creation of 3 parent embryos. This past year, Chinese, British and American scientists have been praising the potential of genetically modified human embryos, a practice the UK parliament approved earlier this year. In the US, while federal funding for research that creates or destroys a human embryo is prohibited, there is no prohibition on the practice in a clinical setting. The new legislation, sponsored by pro-life advocate Rep Robert Aderholt, remedies that by prohibiting “research in which a human embryo is intentionally created or modified to include a heritable genetic modification”. The Aderholt language was included in the Omnibus spending bill. [47 New Pro-Life Laws Enacted in US; PNCI Global News_Dec 22, 2015] US: Bill Authorizing Adult Stem Cell Treatments The US Congress has passed the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act (HR 2820), reauthorizing programs that utilize adult stem cells and cord blood stem cells to treat a range of diseases in adults and children. Passage ensures the adult stem cell programs will be funded through 2020, and the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program and National Cord Blood Inventory will be funded for another five years. “It remains one of the best kept secrets in America that umbilical cord blood stem cells and adult stem cells in general are curing people of a myriad of terrible conditions and diseases in adults as well as children. “Cord blood, which was once seen as medical waste, is now making miracles,” said bill sponsor Rep. Smith. HR 2820 was championed...

Assisted Reproductive Technology Surveillance — United States, 2012

Since the first U.S. infant conceived with Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) was born in 1981, both the use of advanced technologies to overcome infertility and the number of fertility clinics providing ART services have increased steadily in the United States. ART includes fertility treatments in which eggs or embryos are handled in the laboratory (i.e., in vitro fertilization [IVF] and related procedures). In 1996, CDC began collecting data on ART procedures performed in fertility clinics in the United States. This report includes data from 52 reporting areas (the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico). In 2012, a total of 157,635 ART procedures performed in 456 U.S. fertility clinics were reported to CDC. These procedures resulted in 51,261 live-birth deliveries and 65,151 infants. Sunderam S, PhD, Kissin DM, MD, Crawford SB, PhD, et al. MMWR Surveillance Summaries 2015;64(No. SS-6) Vol. 64, No. SS-6, August 14,...

The National Infertility Association Fights the Term ‘Embryo Adoption’: “Meet the Families Who ‘Adopted’ Their Kids — As Embryos”

[Comment: Note these passage in the article: “We definitely use the term ‘embryo donation,’” Barbara Collura, president of Resolve: The National Infertility Association, tells Yahoo Health. “It’s not only deemed more accurate — the most accurate way of discussing this family-building option — but it’s very deliberate for Resolve to use that term. We never refer to it as embryo adoption.” Their reasoning: Just like someone who donates eggs or sperm, a person “has created this, or has this, genetic material and wants to donate or give it to someone else,” she explains. Meanwhile, the term “adoption” rose out of child welfare issues, Collura says. It’s “used to talk about the welfare of a living human being and about finding permanent homes for human beings who have already been born.” She notes that the term has a long history with U.S. policies governing public health and child welfare. There have been “years and years of laws and regulations and safeguards in place for how kids and babies are adopted in the United States,” adds Collura, and this system is radically different from that involving embryos. The donation of an embryo from one family to another is legally considered to be a property transfer, and not an adoption. For Collura, the use of the word adoptive holds significance not just in her professional life but in her personal life, too. “I am an adoptive parent,” she explains, and “I know what I went through with the adoption of my son. It is really, really important for us to not speak of an embryo as a person: A fertilized egg is...

Nick Loeb‚ Little Girls and the Paradoxes of IVF

The way the media reports it, it is a freakish story. Two well-known Hollywood celebrities, Sofia Vergara and Nick Loeb, are involved in what amounts to a custody battle over frozen embryos that they had conceived together, through in vitro fertilization, back when they were an item. Vergara, a major star known for her role in Modern Family, is now engaged to marry yet another celebrity. She allegedly wants to thaw, and thus destroy, the embryos; she certainly wants to prevent their implantation and birth. This has been treated by most commentators as a perfectly reasonable determination. But Loeb, the father, isn’t in accord with the Spirit of the Age on this point. He actually has the temerity to refer to the embryos as his “girls” and boldly insists that he wants to save their lives. When the story broke, wannabe celebrities—that is, reporters in the entertainment field—immediately strove to establish their progressive credentials by condemning Loeb’s absurd concern for human life. Lisa Guerrero, of Inside Edition, tweeted: “#NickLoeb is the ultimate jilted, obsessive, controlling ex….” What? Value of human life? Was Nick Loeb nuts? And Kristen Caires, of the prestigious philosophical journal People, tweeted: “Hey #NickLoeb you’re mental.” A column in The New York Post even demanded that Loeb shut up about “Sofia’s eggs” as if the in vitro fertilization had never occurred. None of the celebrity journalists paused to consider how the very existence of the contested human embryos called into question the assumptions at the heart of that other troublesome embryonic issue: • Advocates of the right to abortion obsessively appeal to a woman’s right to...

When Headlines Lie: Covering Up How Egg Donations Hurt Women

We all know headlines are meant to sell news, so we are right to read articles through a discerning lens and even some healthy skepticism. We are also wise to consider the source. Is this a trusted reporter? Is this a reliable journal, paper, or author? You can imagine my sense of outrage when last year both industry leaders and the national news began proclaiming headlines such as “Study: Egg Donors Remain Fertile After Procedure;” “Donating Eggs Does Not Hurt a Woman’s Future Fertility, Study Says;” and “Egg Donors Don’t Hurt Chances of Later Pregnancy, Study Finds.” Now another study has come out with this big headline: “Multiple Egg Donations May Not Affect a Woman’s Future Fertility.” Sadly, these headlines are far from the truth. They obscure reality and advance a false sense of security: Great news! I can sell my eggs and it won’t impact my ability to have a baby later. The fact that these new studies are touted with such bold but fallacious claims really heightened my concern for women who would read the articles, believe what was being reported, and risk jeopardizing their short- and long-term health. Perhaps most egregious is the fact that these studies are being advanced by industry stakeholders who have much to lose if women thought they were going to be harmed by selling their eggs. What is at stake? Precious eggs that translate into profits . . . huge profits. I have read both of the studies and have them, if anyone is interested in reading them for themselves. It’s not just the headlines that are misleading. Both studies are...

Epigenetics/Life as Commodity/Spurning Biology/Gene Patents/Eggsploitation/Disorders (2014-2012)

NEW!  Alana Newman asks, "Are There Ethical Considerations Using Third Party Reproduction Methods?" A Person is a Person No Matter How Small: Dealing With IVF’s Ethical Questions What are the Rights of Sperm-Donor or Egg-Donor-Conceived People? Three Parent Embryos for Mitochondrial Disease – Unsafe, Unethical and Unnecessary Transhumanism:  A New Spin on an Old Notion Time Lapse Imaging of Embryos – IVF Improvement or Eugenics? Woman With First Womb Transplant Ends Pregnancy, Baby Had No Heartbeat Exploitation in the Making? California Considers Bill that Would Allow Researchers to Pay Women for Harvesting Their Eggs As Yet Unknown:  Myriad Implications The Need for Informed Consent: The Risks of IVF are Becoming Clearer Gene Patents Finally Make It to the Supreme Court Reproduction Without Sex… or, From Sterile Sex to Sterile Reproduction Baby, or Your Money Back: Fertility Doctor Mass Produces, Then Sells Embryos for $9,800 Company Set to Launch Celebrity Sperm Donor Program Sperm-Donor Father of 43 Children Passed on Genetic Disorder Epigenetics: Today’s Brave New World Spurns Biology for Parental Choice   CLONING Human Cloning: The Unethical Manufacturing of Human Life …   Alana Newman asks, "Are There Ethical Considerations Using Third Party Reproduction Methods?"     Alana S. Newman, the daughter of a sperm-donor and once an egg-donor herself, is now one of the most outspoken critics of 3PR (Third Party Reproduction) and a relentless advocate for the rights of the children created using these methods.  Her passion for this issue inspired her to found AnonymousUS.org, a website providing a safe outlet for people to voice their opinions and experiences with 3PR.       Alana has also taken her...

Infertility Expert Rips Ineffective, Costly IVF: ‘Built on Foundation of Destroying Life'

Leading Infertility Expert Rips Ineffective, Costly IVF: ‘Built on Foundation of Destroying Life’ In vitro fertilization (IVF), now the standard treatment for infertility in the United States, last weekend received a harsh assessment from one of the world’s leading experts on infertility. Dr. Thomas Hilgers dismissed IVF as ineffective, costly and unethical compared to the more natural and more successful Napro Technology method, in remarks addressed to a Feb. 24 Academy for Life (PAV) Assembly. Hilgers, representing the Institute for the Study of Reproduction in Omaha, Nebraska, wowed participants at the conference with his research data proving the clear superiority of Napro Technology in treating infertility problems. Listen to 6-minute audio of excerpts from Dr. Hilgers talk: [http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/leading-infertility-expert-rips-ineffective-costly-ivf-built-on-foundation?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=997e053163-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines_03_02_2012&utm_medium=email] Many participants at the conference on “The Management of Infertility Today” were dismayed to hear Church-prohibited IVF technology repeatedly presented as a legitimate solution for women with particular infertility conditions by other speakers. Dr. Hilgers, perhaps the world’s leading expert on resolving infertility issues naturally, forcefully addressed the weaknesses of the IVF-related comments during his half-hour talk and later during the Q & A at the end of the Assembly. Hilgers emphasized that, unlike Napro, “IVF approaches the evaluation of treatment by skipping over the diseases…they don’t look for root causes.” He noted that in 1978, when IVF treatments began to be used, fertility specialists did not understand the causes of infertility and bypassed addressing that challenge in favor of the financial and limited pregnancy success they were having with IVF. The result of this incorrect emphasis, Hilgers stated, was that “we’ve lost 30-35 years of really good research” and “probably...

Eggsploitation / ART / Reprogramming & Beyond (update 6/2012)

NEW! Celebrate? Guess Again… Estimated 30 Million Human Lives Sacrificed for 5 Million ‘Test Tube Babies’ The 'Ovolution' of the Three-Parent Embryo Extra Embryos? One Family Offers Them on Craigslist Scientists to Apply for Licence to Fertilise Human Eggs Grown in Lab Reprogramming and Programming in the Human Embryo and Beyond Change of Heart — MD Interview: How He Quit IVF Feminists Join Pro-Lifers in Warning of Cloning Exploiting Women No Patents for Inventions Involving Destruction of Embryos: EU Court What is “Eggsploitation”? Commentary: The Strange World of Assisted Reproductive Technology…       Celebrate? Guess Again… Estimated 30 Million Human Lives Sacrificed for 5 Million ‘Test Tube Babies’ While some doctors are celebrating an estimated 5 million living people created through Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART includes IVF and ICSI) since the world’s first ‘test tube baby’, Louise Brown, was born 34 years ago, one prominent critic has slammed the technology for what he says is an unethical treatment of human life and a chimerical solution to women suffering from infertility. “If 5 million babies have been born as a result of in vitro fertilization, then at least six times that many human lives have been aborted in the earliest and most vulnerable stages of development in the womb,” said Dr. Thomas W. Hilgers in a statement to LifeSiteNews. Dr. Hilgers, clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Creighton University School of Medicine, was referring to the fact that in a typical IVF procedure, many more embryos are created than will ultimately be implanted in the mother’s womb – while the rest are either frozen indefinitely...

Amendment Banning Human Embryo Patents Becomes Permanent U.S. Law (Sept/11)

The United States Congress has made permanent a ban on human embryo patents that previously had to be renewed every year. The pro-life “Weldon Patent Ban” was enacted as part of the “America Invents Act,” which was signed into law Monday by President Barack Obama. “Human kind should not be for sale at any stage of development,” said Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “Making permanent this important pro-life policy to ensure human organisms are never patented is a notable victory for Americans who believe that human beings — regardless of their stage of development — are not considered property to be licensed for financial gain.” The language added to the 58-page America Invents Act makes permanent the pro-life policy Weldon provision that has been included in the federal appropriations bills annually since 2004. The language was introduced into the Act by Republican Judiciary Committee Chairman Representative Lamar Smith of Texas. House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Representative Chris Smith, and other pro-life lawmakers supported the Weldon amendment. Both the House and Senate subsequently approved the broader bill without separate votes on the pro-life provision. The key language, as it appears in Section 33 of the enacted measure, says:  “Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, no patent may issue on a claim directed to or encompassing a human organism.” Pro-life doctor and Republican Representative Dave Weldon of Florida was behind the original amendment language that pro-life groups supported in 2003 before it was enacted in 2004. “Unethical researchers and biotechnology companies are willing not only to create and destroy embryonic human...

Sperm Donor Regs Needed / Exploitation Concerns with IVF/ High Dose IVF Hurts Women (update 8/2012)

High Doses of Hormones in IVF Hurting Women and Children Sperm Donor Children Speak Out Sperm Donor Fathers More Than 150 Children, Regulations Needed Pro-Life Concerns About IVF Include Abortion & Exploitation…     High Doses of Hormones in IVF Hurting Women and Children [Comment: A similar article recently appeared in the NYT. However, it did not include the important info on NaPro contained in this article at the end.   As I have said before, health conscious people avoid meat with hormones as much as possible but think nothing of women taking powerful birth control hormones and overdoses for emergency contraception. N. Valko RN, 24 July 12] High Doses of Hormones in IVF Hurting Women and Children Cattle. Livestock to be pumped with hormones, their health be damned, to produce a valuable product. I am convinced this is how the fertility industry sees women. The New York Times has an article on “high-dose IVF” that seems to bolster my opinion. In the United States and in the UK, IVF practitioners flood women with high doses of hormones to get as many eggs as possible. Even though this is not good for the health of the women or the children that result, and there is a low-dose alternative that is cheaper and better for mother and child, these IVF docs cling to the high doses approach because it means higher “success rates.” From the article: OHSS [ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome] is a little-known complication of fertility treatments that rely on high doses of hormones, which are standard in the United States and the United Kingdom; the syndrome is not the...

Valuable Advice: Don’t Buy ‘Fresh’ Semen on the Internet, Says Health Canada (2011)

Valuable Advice: Don’t Buy ‘Fresh’ Semen on the Internet, Says Health Canada If you’ve been shopping around online and think you’ve found the semen of your dreams, you might want to think again before you click that “checkout” button, according to Health Canada. The health agency has warned would-be parents not to purchase fresh semen online, saying it may be tainted with infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B or C, syphilis, Chlamydia, or gonorrhea. “Health Canada is reminding Canadians of the serious potential health risks of using donor semen for assisted conception obtained through potentially unreliable sources, such as the Internet,” the government agency said in a communiqué issued August 29th. “Donor semen obtained through questionable means, such as through transactions arranged via the Internet, may not have been appropriately screened and tested, and therefore may not be safe,” we are told. Furthermore, Health Canada says, “Canadians should be cautious of websites advertising the availability of semen, such as ‘fresh’ semen that has not been processed and cryopreserved (frozen), with claims that the semen donors have been properly screened and tested, as such claims may not be true.” The bulletin explains that Canada has strict controls for obtaining donor semen to minimize the potential risk of transmitting infectious diseases. The regulations require that donor semen must be quarantined for a minimum of six months, and donors must be screened and tested before the donation and six months after. There are more regulations that apply to the importation, processing and distribution of donor semen, and Health Canada says that it “maintains a list of semen processors and importers that...

Commentary: Surrogacy Attorneys Caught Exploiting Women & Selling Babies (8/2011)

Commentary: Surrogacy Attorneys Caught Exploiting Women & Selling Babies Infertility can bring much heartache to couples desperately wanting a baby. Sadly, desperation opens the door for exploitation. Recently, two high-profile surrogacy attorneys, Theresa Erickson and Hilary Neiman, were caught exploiting surrogates, stealing from California taxpayers, and, most horrifically, selling babies. It had already been a bad week for the moral credibility of the infertility industry. The Mumbai Mirror reported that cops were making arrests in a thriving racket involving local gangs, civic officials, and medical professionals all teaming up to traffic infants from India to countries where commercial surrogacy is illegal. It sounds like a plot to yet another movie, such as Google Baby and Made in India, showing the dirty underbelly of the booming billion dollar illegal baby making industry. If you think this is too far from home to be interesting, and that selling babies is a rare event isolated to developing countries, please read Alan Zarembo’s piece in last week’s Los Angeles Times [13 Aug 11, "Scam Targeted Surrogates as well as Couples", http://articles.latimes.com/2011/aug/13/local/la-me-baby-ring-20110814]. Theresa Erickson, internationally renowned surrogacy lawyer in Southern California, has just pleaded guilty to being a co-conspirator in a three-ring baby-selling scheme. Erickson’s ring included Maryland based attorney, Hilary Neiman, and Carla Chambers, who served as a surrogate in the operation on multiple occasions and recruited other surrogates. Erickson has relentlessly attacked my documentary, Eggsploitation, as over-sensationalized hype from a conservative organization whose larger agenda was to shut down the industry. Eggsploitation tells the stories of women who have been victimized by the fertility industry. Last year it won best documentary at...

Study Links IVF to Down Syndrome, Other Genetic Conditions (7/2011)

Yahoo News recently carried a story that reports from the proceedings of the annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Stockholm, where a recent study was discussed linking in vitro fertilization (IVF) with an increased incidence in Down Syndrome. The language in the story is a mess, and care must be taken to vet the verbal engineering contained therein so that the true moral and bioethical implications may be brought into sharp relief. First, a summation of the science involved. Investigators analyzed the DNA strands (chromosomes) produced by the divisions of human eggs and counted the chromosome numbers using a new technique (Array Comparative Genomic Hybridisation) that is highly sensitive to not only differences in chromosome numbers, but also changes in the size and composition of the chromosomes. Remainder of article —...

1.5 Million Embryos Killed Through IVF Since 1991 in Britain (7/2011)

1.5 Million Embryos Killed Through IVF Since 1991 in Britain Over one and a half million embryonic children have been killed in Britain through IVF procedures since 1991, according to new data from the country’s Department of Health. The figures, revealed by Britain’s Health Minister Lord Howe in response to a request from Lord Alton, show that over 30 embryos are created for every live birth through IVF. Doctors have created more than 3.1 million human embryos since Britain passed its Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act in 1991, resulting in only 94,090 successful births.  Of the remainder, 1,455,832 embryos have been discarded, 101,605 were destroyed through research, and 764,311 were frozen. “We are creating and destroying human embryos on an industrial scale,” said Lord Alton, according to the Daily Mail. He criticized the fact that the government has spent so much money on IVF when there are 600 abortions in the country every day and only 70 babies offered for adoption every year. Pro-life advocates have heavily criticized IVF, in large part because of the massive death toll that it entails.  As the figures reveal, in each round numerous children are conceived to improve the chances of implantation, but those remaining unused are simply “discarded” or frozen. Critics also argue that the procedure reduces the newly-formed human life to the status of a commodity, and say that the child is meant to be conceived through the mutual love of husband and wife in the conjugal act. Additionally, research has shown that babies born from IVF have a much higher chance of birth defects, including heart valve defects, cleft lip...

‘Intended Mother’ Must Adopt Son Conceived through IVF, NJ Court Rules (3/2011)

‘Intended Mother’ Must Adopt Son Conceived through IVF, NJ Court Rules (3/2011) A New Jersey appeals court has ruled that the “intended mother” of a child born through in vitro fertilization (IVF) using a donated egg and a surrogate mother must adopt the child to be legally considered his mother. IVF methods continue to raise many concerns, not only of an ethical nature, but far-reaching into parental rights issues. The current case involves a couple who conceived a child nearly 20 years ago using a donor’s egg and the husband’s sperm; the child was then carried by a surrogate mother.  With the approval of a pre-birth order, the infertile “intended mother” had her name listed on the child’s birth certificate as his mother, according to NJ.com. However, the state Bureau of Vital Statistics later told the Superior Court judge who issued the order that the “intended mother” would have to adopt the child because she had no biological claim on him. “We’re operating under a law that’s more than a quarter of a century old,” said Donald Cofsky, a Haddonfield attorney representing the couple. “My clients believe this is something that has to be addressed — not just for them but for everybody else in this situation.” Lawyers and politicians say the law needs to be addressed because of the thousands it could affect. At issue, the court documents state, is the fact that paternity is always assumed, even if an infertile husband’s sperm is not used for conception, whereas adoption is still necessary for an infertile wife to become the “mother” of her husband’s child. “The law says...

Death/Health Issues in IVF Children /Eggsploitation (2010-11) (update 27Jan2011)

NEW!  Eggsploitation Documentary Tells Students of Egg Donation Risks NEW!  Hope for Infertility: ‘Infertile’ Couple Gives Birth Thanks to Cutting Edge Natural Treatment NEW!  Assembling the Global Baby Invisible Dads Scientists Admit IVF Has High Rate of Abnormalities Commentary: IVF 'Could Double Risk of Cerebral Palsy' NaPro Technology Can Help Some Couples Who Balk at In Vitro Fertilization IVF-Conceived Children Have "Moderately" Higher Risk of Cancer: Swedish Study 'Eggsploitation' Documentary Reveals Secrets of Infertility Industry The Incredible, Profitable Egg New Study Confirms Overwhelming Death Rate of IVF Human Embryos…           Eggsploitation Documentary Tells Students of Egg Donation Risks Advances in medical technology frequently come with ethical problems and scientific concerns and issues and egg donation, for women, is no different. Jennifer Lahl of the Center for Bioethics and Culture has been one of the leading advocates for women in terms of highlighting the problems they face with egg donations, which provide scientists for eggs frequently used in cloning and embryonic stem cell research. Rebecca Hagelin of the Washington Times today profiles Lahl and her documentary Eggspolitation, which is making its way across college campuses, reaching the women who feel economic pressure to sell their eggs but may not realize the medical dangers to them inherent in the procedure.: Jennifer Lahl is a kind, deeply caring woman. A health care worker for 25 years, she has seen medical care at its best — when it gives fresh hope and renewed health to suffering patients. These days, Ms. Lahl is a passionate advocate on behalf of young women who’ve experienced medical care at its worst. In the...

Int'l Call for Ban on IVF Technologies/ IVF & Coercion, Harm / 5 Articles (2010)

Woman Kills Wrongly-Implanted Embryos with Morning-After Pill Targeting "Excess" Children: Infertility Treatments and the Problem of "Multifetal Pregnancy Reduction" IVF, Mass Production and Coercion Path-breaking Study Finds Adults Conceived Through Sperm Donation Suffer Substantial Harm A.L.L. Joins International Call for Ban on In Vitro Technologies…     Woman Kills Wrongly-Implanted Embryos with Morning-After Pill  In a disastrous chain of events, a set of “wanted” embryos quickly became “unwanted” after an artificially impregnated women was informed by her fertility clinic that they had accidentally implanted the embryos of another woman by the same name. The woman’s solution was to take the morning-after pill (which, ironically, pro-abortion forces insist is simply a form of contraception and cannot cause an abortion) and abort the nascent life within her. The Associated Press reports that the Center for Advanced Reproductive Services at the University of Connecticut Health Center has agreed to pay a $ 3,000 fine over the incident, which took place last April, according to state health records. Apparently, a lab technician had removed a batch of human embryos from the storage freezer without following proper procedure. She only matched the last name, but forgot to crosscheck with the last four digits of the woman’s social security number and the medical record number. The lab technician discovered the error a day later – but by then it was too late. The woman had already been implanted with another client’s embryos, which had been on ice for approximately four years. After being told about the error one hour after having the embryos implanted within her, the woman then decided she did not want to...

Landmark Study: Natural IVF Alternative Effective in Helping Infertile Couples Conceive (Oct2008)

Landmark Study Demonstrates Natural IVF Alternative Effective in Helping Infertile Couples Conceive (Oct 2008)   Researchers from the International Institute of Restorative Reproductive Medicine have published a study in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine which confirms that natural procreative technology, called NaProTechnology or NPT – a non-invasive fertility-care based medical approach to the treatment of infertility – provided live birth rates comparable or superior to more invasive treatments, including assisted reproductive technology (ART) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). NPT was developed from thirty years of scientific research in the study of the normal and abnormal states of the menstrual and fertility cycles by Dr. Thomas W. Hilgers. The study was conducted in Ireland and involved 1072 couples who had who sought medical help because of difficulty conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term. Dr. Phil Boyle, one of the study authors and director of the Galway NaProTechnology Medical Centre, explained that NPT can often resolve infertility or miscarriages by detecting and correcting problems overlooked by standard approaches. “Nearly half the patients we see have been told they have unexplained infertility,” said Dr. Boyle. “After NPT investigations, 2/3 of the patients had a hormone abnormality and more than 1/4 were diagnosed with cervical mucus dysfunction, a critical factor for sperm survival and transport. Once these and other problems were identified and treated, NPT enabled the couples to conceive using a natural act of intercourse.” Overall, 52.8% of patients completing treatment could expect to have a successful live birth, which rivals previously published results for expensive in vitro fertilization (IVF), which may require patients to endure multiple...

Genetic Testing of Embryos May Cause Dementia, Obesity In Adulthood (10/2009)

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) has become a controversial part of the booming infertility and baby-making medical industry. This example of unnatural selection allows for the chromosomes of an embryo created through in vitro fertilization (IVF) to be analyzed. If there's a problem, parents are encouraged to have an abortion. Its backers have promoted the procedure as a widely used and safe medical test — at least, until now. A new long-term analysis of PGD suggests that this procedure may hold serious long-term risks for humans subjected to this test while they were embryos. Animal tests have come up with worrisome evidence PGD could increase risks of obesity and dementia in adulthood. While it's almost hard to believe, no rigorous long-term studies have been carried out in order to see whether PGD poses any serious health risks down the line — even though the procedure involves manipulating a developing embryo. So Chinese scientists Ran Huo, Qi Zhou and colleagues decided to work with experiments in lab mice to examine how a blastomere biopsy, as the key manipulation used during the PGD procedure, actually impacts fetal, neonatal and adult development. The results were disturbing. While the two groups of mice looked similar at first glance, the biopsied group of mice on average were fatter. What's more, they demonstrated significantly poorer memory in maze tests. In all, 36 proteins displayed significant differences between biopsied and control groups — and 17 of these differences are closely associated with neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimers and Down Syndrome. [October 12, 2009, Ertelt, Washington, DC,...

Artificial Sperm & Egg / Embryo Adoption Website (2009)

No Men or Women Needed as Artificial Sperm, Eggs Created for First Time Embryo Adoption Web Site Adds New Videos to Promote Saving Days-Old Unborn…   No Men or Women Needed as Artificial Sperm, Eggs Created for First Time Human eggs and sperm have been grown in the laboratory in research which could change the face of parenthood. The research raises a number of moral and ethical concerns. These include the possibility of children being born through entirely artificial means, and men and women being sidelined from the process of making babies. Opponents argue that it is wrong to meddle with the building blocks of life and warn that the advances taking place to tackle infertility risk distorting and damaging relations between family members. The U.S. government-funded research also offers the prospect of a 'miracle pill' which staves off the menopause, allowing women to wait longer to have a child. Scientists at Stanford University in California found the right cocktail of chemicals and vitamins to coax the cells into becoming eggs and sperm. The sperm had heads and short tails and are thought to have been mature enough to fertilize an egg. The eggs were at a much earlier stage but were still much more developed than any created so far by other scientists. The double success, published in the journal Nature, raises the prospect of men and women one day 'growing' their own sperm and eggs for use in IVF treatments. The American team used [unethical] stem cells taken from embryos in the first days of life but hope to repeat the process with slivers of skin. The...