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10-29-2010, 06:30 PM
The IVF betrayal: One mother argues reproductive medicine has become an industry that exploits desperate women and puts profits before human emotions

By Charlotte Metcalf
Last updated at 8:25 AM on 29th October 2010

When my first — and only — baby was born shortly before my 46th birthday, my friends were thrilled, not just for me but for themselves.

I gave them comfort and hope. If I could conceive naturally at 45, surely it meant they didn’t need to worry about having left it too late to have children. Besides, what with advances in fertility treatment, there would always be something to fall back on if they couldn’t conceive naturally . . . Or so they thought.

Yesterday, women were told they should freeze their ovaries in their 20s — once again hammering home the message that we can delay motherhood well into our 40s and even 50s.
Loving: Now women have been told they should freeze their ovaries in their twenties so they can delay motherhood well into their 40s and even 50s

Dr Sherman Silber, one of the world’s best reproductive surgeons and a leading fertility expert, said the procedure — in which tissue from a woman’s ovary containing thousands of young, healthy eggs is frozen and then implanted back into her when she feels ready to have children — is so successful at *producing babies that it should be available on the NHS.

For a long time, scientists have been *advising women to freeze their eggs lest they leave it too late to conceive. Freezing ovaries, then, was always the next step in an *inevitable chain.

Certainly, the official wisdom nowadays seems to be for women to put off having a baby until the last possible moment. Indeed, Dr Silber talks about women delaying having children ‘until they have fulfilled their career ambitions and are ready to *settle down’.

It certainly jars with the advice of my mother and grandmother, who both told me: ‘There is never a right time to have a baby — a baby just happens.’ Yet nowadays we seem to take it for granted that we can plan for this momentous, life-changing event at our convenience.

I would argue, however, that all this technology that surrounds fertility is not liberating women, but betraying them with false *promises that are leaving thousands childless and desperately unhappy.
For a large percentage of women, IVF is a myth - and one that women would do well to face up to

Recent figures published by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) certainly make *disheartening reading for childless women over 40.

In 2007, 36,861 women had IVF — up nearly six per cent on the previous year. But while 11.9 per cent of those women aged between 40 and 42 went on to have babies, for those between 43 and 44 that figure dropped to 3.4 per cent (down 1.2 per cent from the year before).

Of those over 44 (my age group when I had my baby), only 3.1 per cent were successful (down 0.9 per cent from 2006).

So, for a large percentage of women, IVF is a myth — and one that women would do well to face up to.

Those of us who joined the workforce in the Eighties after university were part of a new, driven generation. We believed we could put having children on hold while we concentrated on building careers. We were so focused on being the first generation of women to match men professionally that we forgot about our *primal function as mothers.

Unlike our own mothers, we would not ruin our job prospects with babies in our 20s or early 30s. Instead, we would wait until we were successful and independent.

With the benefit of hindsight, this delaying of motherhood was the single biggest mistake my generation ever made.

The cry I hear time and again from my friends — who have put their faith in IVF — is: ‘No one told us!’ They feel woefully let down. The problem is that trying to have a baby is such a pressing, urgent, emotional need that those women are unlikely to listen to their GP telling them that their chances of conceiving through IVF are very low.

This is an interesting article. I know a lot of women who have tried IVF (some, many times) and only one has had a child as a result. I also believed that fertility treatments were a reliable back-up plan for women over 35 until I began to see that it didn't appear to work very often.

The comments are interesting.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1324714/The-IVF-betrayal-One-mother-argues-reproductive-medicine-industry-exploits-desperate-women-puts-profits-human-emotions.html#ixzz13mgwWKdl