- Assisted Conception
- Volume 315
- Editor: Justin Healey
- Print book ISBN: 978 1 921507 26 7
- Year: 2010
- Print book: $20.95
The use of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) may be the only way people who experience infertility can have a child. ART techniques include artificial insemination, in vitro fertilisation, intracytoplasmic single sperm injection and surrogacy. A number of questions are raised regarding assisted conception – practical, financial, ethical and personal. This book examines the science behind reproductive technologies and explores a range of concerns and opinions. What are the emotional impacts of infertility on prospective parents and the health risks for the artificially conceived child? Should women delay motherhood? What are the identity issues for the offspring of donor conception? Does genetic screening promote ‘designer babies’ and sex selection for the wrong reasons? Does surrogacy commodify other people’s wombs? Should same-sex couples and single parents have taxpayer-funded access to this technology?
Chapter 1: Assisted Conception in Australia
Chapter 2: Assisted Conception – Ethics and Opinions
Glossary; Fast Facts; Web Links; Index
- Reproductive technology is the term used to describe the range of medical treatments available to assist couples to conceive.
- A couple is regarded as infertile when they have not conceived after 12 months of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.
- Up to 20% of couples will have no explainable cause for their infertility.
- Among couples who are infertile, about 40% of cases are exclusively due to female infertility, 40% exclusively to male infertility, and 10% involve problems with both partners.
- The general success of ART resulting in the birth of a live baby for women under 35 years is around 25%, for women from 35 to 39 it is around 18% and for women aged 40 to 44 it is around 6%.
- Between 6,000 and 7,000 babies were born as a result of IVF in Australia in 2007, with a further 3,000 born by ‘assisted conception’ techniques such as artificial insemination.
- There were 56,817 ART treatment cycles reported in Australia and New Zealand in 2007. This represents a 12.5% increase in the number of cycles undertaken in 2006 and a 53.7% increase in the number of cycles undertaken in 2003.
- An egg donor is a woman who offers her eggs as an altruistic gift to an infertile woman so that she may experience the gift of motherhood.
- In New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, anyone who donates eggs must go on a register, agreeing to the possibility of being contacted by any children aged 18 and over who were conceived from the donation.
- Prenatal testing for Down syndrome is now routine and 95% of affected pregnancies are terminated.
- Karyomapping allows couples at risk of passing on gene defects to conceive healthy children using IVF treatment.
- Using a technique known as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), specialists can select a couple’s healthy embryo for implantation in the womb and discard ones that are damaged.
- A surrogate mother is someone who gestates (conceives and carries within the uterus) and then gives birth to a child for another person, with the full intention of handing the child over to that person after the birth.
- The Federal Government is considering introducing national legislation for surrogacy to ensure consistency across the country.
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