Insurance, IVF

Insurance companies should be required to cover in vitro fertilization

Source Washington Post

Michelle Obama’s revelation in her new memoir that she and Barack Obama conceived their daughters through in vitro fertilization has placed the increasingly common medical procedure into the national spotlight. Malia and Sasha, it turns out, are among the more than 1 million babies born in the United States through IVF. Yet a full 40 yearsafter the first IVF baby was born, even as the procedure has become safe and remarkably effective, it remains financially out of reach for many U.S. couples struggling to become parents.

Health insurance regulation is largely up to the states, and policies vary widely. Some have expanded IVF access by mandating that most health-care plans cover the procedure — includingConnecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and the Obamas’ home state of Illinois (which enacted its mandate seven years before Malia’s birth).

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UK – Couple who spent £20,000 on IVF treatment before shelling out another £7,000 on ‘add-ons to boost their chances of a baby’ become first in the UK to sue over the ‘worthless and unproven’ extras

Source Daily Mail

Legal secretary Tracy Wint underwent two years of unsuccessful IVF treatment, spending more than £20,000 in her desperation to have a second child with her husband Mark.

During that time she claims Oxford Fertility convinced her and her husband to fork out an extra £7,000 for add-ons doctors said would boost their chances of having a baby. However, the pair now believe they were ‘worthless’.

Couples are often persuaded by private doctors to buy expensive top-up procedures such as ‘glue’ to stick embryos to the womb, or genetic tests to screen for abnormalities.

But a report last year by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) said many such treatments have no scientific basis, are dangerous, and could even harm a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant.

Mrs Wint, 41, said: ‘We feel like we’ve paid out thousands for add-ons that are not proven to work and carry health risks. We were desperate. If they had said they could sprinkle fairy dust and it will make you pregnant we would have bought it.’

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IVF, Michelle Obama

IVF is so hard to talk about. Thank you, Michelle Obama, for speaking out

Source The Guardian

After her years of living in the fishbowl of the White House, Michelle Obamadoesn’t owe us anything. But for millions of people, her new disclosure that she and Barack Obama used IVF treatment to conceive their two daughters is a remarkable act of generosity. Because for all that IVF treatment is increasingly common, it remains an often stigmatized thing to talk about. And for those of us who go through it, knowing that public figures aren’t ashamed to be among us can make a huge difference in terms of feeling able to get the support and space we need to persevere.

IVF has been around for 40 years, now (thank you, Lesley Brown) but till remains something that people find difficult to discuss. The reasons are complex. If you conceive children without medical assistance, it’s understandably quite rude to volunteer the details of your techniques. While you can describe IVF with a degree of sterile remove that may be absent from that night on your honeymoon when you overdid the pina coladas, it still makes people uncomfortable – something that I learned last year when my husband and I started treatment.

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Adoption, IVF

UK – Rising success of IVF has caused a collapse in adoption, says head of organisation for children in care

Source Telegraph

Improvements in IVF are leading to fewer children being adopted, the head of the organisation representing children in care in England says today.

Since the dawn of fertility treatment in 1978, success rates in the NHS have risen from 7 to 29 per cent for under-35s. Some private clinics claim rates of more than 50 per cent, meaning infertile couples stand a better chance than ever of having their own children.

But in an interview with The Telegraph today, Anthony Douglas, the chief executive of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), says the growing success of IVF means fewer people will consider adopting children.
“IVF used to be around 7 per cent successful and…

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UK – Our Parliament needs to act and protect women undergoing IVF 

Source Telegraph

From the Women’s March to #MeToo, women all over the world are lifting their voices to demand that their bodies are respected.

So, the fact that there is still at least one fundamental area in which UK law does not properly protect women is a shocking revelation.

In the UK today 68,000 cycles of IVF are carried out every year. Since the first IVF baby was born 40 years ago, the field of reproductive medicine has exploded, and more than 300,000 babies have now been born in the UK thanks to fertility treatment.

It has transformed lives: for heterosexual couples, same-sex couples and single women who wish to have a family.

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Women in the UK are being refused IVF when they hit 34

Source Quartz

Women who need IVF in order to conceive a child are being denied it from as young as 34 in some areas of the UK because of their age, even though government guidelines stipulate that it be available free up until the age of 42.

In the UK, fertility treatments including IVF have been available since 2004 through the National Health Service (NHS), a tax-funded institution which ensures critical UK healthcare is free at the point of delivery. But the NHS is massively under-funded, meaning local authorities have had to decide which non life-saving treatments to cut.

Guidelines say that women under the age of 40 should be offered three complete cycles of IVF for free, with one cycle offered for women from 40 to 42. But some local authorities have stopped offering IVF completely and others have begun instituting an age cut-off for women. The practice, revealed by a BBC investigation, surprised many would-be mothers who didn’t realize there was any such rule until they went for treatment. Since the decisions vary geographically, they arbitrarily tie women’s fertility to where they live.

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IVF allows two women to carry the same baby: ‘It was like a relay race’

Source Yahoo

Going through the IVF process can be tricky for same-sex couples: Who will supply the egg and sperm? Who will carry the baby? One couple in Texas found a way for both to take part.

Ashleigh and Bliss Coulter, a couple in North Texas, welcomed their son, Stetson, five months ago via IVF. “I wanted to be pregnant for so long and so bad,” Ashleigh told NBC 5. “I always wanted to have a child, I just didn’t want to carry the child,” Bliss said. “Obviously, us being two women, we were like, ‘How can we make this happen?’” Ashleigh said. “We felt like there has to be a way.”

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UK – Woman who suffered SIX miscarriages and had more than 600 IVF injections weeps with joy as she holds her baby for the first time, after her best friend stepped in to serve as a surrogate

Source Daily Mail

Erin Boelhower, 33, from Woodstock, Illinois, endured nine IVF transfers and more than 600 injections over the course of three years trying to get pregnant with husband Matthew, 33. 

Erin and Matthew were left devastated after suffering a string of miscarriages, but never lost hope that they would one day become parents.

Their dream finally became a reality when Erin’s best friend Rachel Checolinski, 34, gave them the gift of a lifetime and offered to be their surrogate.

In January, two of Erin’s embryos were transferred to Rachel’s uterus. That same month, a test revealed she was pregnant.

The pals spent the next nine months side by side and Erin was at the hospital with Rachel, herself a mother of three, when she went into labor with baby Scottie on September 19.

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IVF, No Needle IVF

No-Needle In Vitro Fertilization Offers New Hope To Women Struggling To Become Pregnant

Source New York

For women who are trying to become pregnant, it can be an anguishing time. In vitro fertilization has proven to be successful for many, but it comes with its own set of anxiety in the form of expensive injections.

Now, a new, no-needle IVF treatment is showing promise.

Becoming a mother was everything for one woman who spoke with CBS2. Today, she has a beautiful 20-month-old daughter, but getting pregnant was far more difficult than she ever could have imagined.

“I wasn’t even like, 35 at this point and here I’m being told I can’t get pregnant,” she said.

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Why single embryo transfer during IVF sometimes results in twins or triplets

Source Eureka Alert

It has been known for some time that it is better to transfer a single embryo to a woman’s womb during assisted reproduction treatment (ART) rather than several embryos in order to avoid a multiple pregnancy and the risks associated with it such as foetal deaths, miscarriage, premature delivery and low birthweight. However, even when single embryo transfer (SET) is performed, some women still become pregnant with twins or even triplets.

In a study published today (Tuesday) in Human Reproduction[1], one of the world’s leading reproductive medicine journals, researchers have investigated one of the reasons why this happens and have, for the first time, been able to calculate that the proportion of multiple pregnancies after SET is 1.6% and that 1.36% of multiple pregnancies after SET occur as a result of a process called zygotic splitting

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IVF is less successful in black women even though they produce more viable eggs and embryos – and researchers admit they don’t know why 

Source Daily Mail

Most believe that the most important number to look for is how many eggs and embryos are retrieved.

But new research shows that there may be other factors at play, especially for black patients, who have a 14 percent lower live birth rate than white women, according to data from a large clinic in Washington, DC. 

Some of the discrepancy can be explained by the fact that the African American patients were more likely to be older, with a higher BMI. 

However, the researchers of the study warn much of it is likely caused by biological factors that we don’t understand because black women are under-studied in medical research.  

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What We’re Doing Right And What Can Be Better About IVF

Source Forbes

This afternoon I leave for Denver for the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) meetings, a conference I have attended since 1988. Having lived in the in vitro fertilization (IVF) world in varying roles for three decades, I offer the following observations about what’s good and what’s bad about assisted reproduction today.

What Can Be Better:
Access—still. There are 7 million women with infertility in the United States. Using in vitro fertilization, approximately 1% of those successfully deliver a baby per year. Imagine another area of medicine where the percentage is that low. This brings us to…

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Why single embryo transfer during IVF sometimes results in twins or triplets

Source Science Daily

It has been known for some time that it is better to transfer a single embryo to a woman’s womb during assisted reproduction treatment (ART) rather than several embryos in order to avoid a multiple pregnancy and the risks associated with it such as fetal deaths, miscarriage, premature delivery and low birthweight. However, even when single embryo transfer (SET) is performed, some women still become pregnant with twins or even triplets.

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IVF, Obesity

How Dangerous Is It for Overweight Women to Go Through IVF?

Source Healthline

The television show “This Is Us” has taken on a lot of emotional issues in its first two seasons, not the least of which was the death of husband and father Jack.

This season, the popular drama series is dealing with another controversial, important topic — obesity and fertility.

“This Is Us” follows the lives of five family members — including Kate, a woman who’s obese and has faced weight-related stigma throughout her life.

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Denmark, IVF

Why is IVF so popular in Denmark?

Source BBC

Despite previous attempts to limit access to treatment, Denmark now has the biggest proportion of babies born through assisted reproductive technology (ART) in the world.

Visit any park in Denmark and the chances are many of the children playing there were born using IVF or donor sperm. Denmark leads the world in the use of ART to build families – an estimated 10% of all births involve such techniques.

Everyone in Denmark knows someone who has gone through IVF and talking about it is no taboo – chats at the schools gates or even church frequently revolve around the origins of people’s children.

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Australia, IVF, Law

Australia – Woman challenges laws that require estranged husband’s IVF consent

Source The Age

A woman who wants to conceive a child using donor sperm has launched a court challenge to existing laws that bar her from accessing IVF without her estranged husband’s consent.

The Victorian woman, known to the court as “LR”, says she is being discriminated against on the basis of her marital status.

The woman is still legally married, but separated and estranged from her husband, the Federal Court in Melbourne heard on Thursday.

She intends to divorce him when the 12-month waiting period is over, and wants to undergo in-vitro fertilisation to become pregnant, using her own eggs and donor sperm.

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UK – IVF mothers and babies’ ‘urgent need’ for health-check database

Source The Telegraph

Babies born through IVF and their mothers may be suffering a raft of health problems but nobody is aware because they are not being monitored, a leading fertility doctor and MP have warned.

Professor Geeta Nargund, the founder and medical director of Create Fertility and MP Siobhain McDonagh, are calling for the Human Fertility and Embryology Act to be amended to merge NHS and fertility databases.

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Fertility Benefits, IVF, UK

UK – Saatchi and Saatchi Wellness London launch IVF campaign

Source PMLive

Specialist health and wellness advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi Wellness London has partnered up with Fertility Network to launch a new IVF campaign.

The new campaign targets fair access to IVF treatments in the UK, where 3.5 million people are affected by fertility issues, but cannot get access to treatment under the National Health Service.

Titled #Scream4IVF, the campaign features screaming faces of patients who have been affected by infertility.

Additionally, the advertising agency is calling out to the public, influencers and celebrities to take part by donating their scream on social media, which will result in the world’s longest scream of IVF.
It will then be played at a rally outside Parliament on 10 October this year.

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Who Is A Good Candidate For IVF?

Source Independent

While IVF is now a common fertility treatment, not everyone understands how it works or who it can help.

While some questions can only be answered in a one-on-one consultation with your doctor, this guide should get you started.

With the highest success rate of any ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) available today, IVF has helped millions of people realize their dream of growing their family. It might be the answer for you, too.

Many women with blocked or removed fallopian tubes have success with IVF since it bypasses the fallopian tubes altogether.

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