Study Shows Another Risk of IVF: Stillbirths
Human Life Being Commercialized, Doctor Laments
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By Carmen Elena Villa
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, MARCH 2, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Women who conceive a child with in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection are four times more likely to give birth to a dead child, according to a study done in Denmark.
This data is found in "IVF and stillbirth: a prospective follow-up study," published last week in the journal Human Reproduction.
The researchers studied more than 20,000 pregnancies and found that out of every 1,000 women who conceive with IVF (in vitro fertilization) and ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), 16.2 give birth to a dead child whereas for fertile women who do not conceive with artificial fertilization, the risk is reduced to 3.7.
ZENIT consulted Spanish gynecologist Esteban Rodríguez Martin, member of the platform Gynecologists for the Right to Live (DAV), who asserted that assisted fertilization always "implies a high cost of human lives."
"This novel work of research demonstrates that the inefficiency [of the methods of assisted reproduction] not only increases the death of embryos in test tubes and in freezers, but it also increases the death of full term children," he said.
Rodríguez pointed out the need for couples to be informed "of the risks implied for their children by techniques of transference and artificial production of embryos."
For the research, all the women were pregnant for the first time and expected only one child. The obstetric history of each one was taken into account, including factors such as the time that it took them to get pregnant, the treatments used and their age.
Also taken into account were habits such as addiction to tobacco, alcohol and coffee consumption during pregnancy, civil status, level of education and psychological state.
Beyond the risks, Rodríguez contended that assisted fertilization is "leading to the commercialism of human life."
"The industry of embryonic production -- taking advantage of superficial sentimentalism and of the suffering of not having offspring experienced by thousands of couples in the whole developed world -- obstinate in delaying and artificially planning maternity to the max, make embryos into things, treating them in ways that are unworthy of the human being," he stressed.
The doctor said that "freezing, experiments, eugenic selections -- including transfers to couples of women united by affective sexual bonds -- are some examples of this commercialism" that marks the business of infertility treatment.
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On the Net:
"IVF and stillbirth: a prospective follow-up study": http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/deq023v1