The Hidden Dangers of In Vitro Fertilization
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)involves giving a woman drugs to induce ovulation and then harvesting (collecting) those mature eggs through a laparoscope. The man masturbates to collect the semen. Then, the semen and ova are mixed in a dish, where fertilization may occur. Then the tiny, new embryonic human(s) are put into the cavity of the woman's uterus with the hope that they will plant and grow. Other sophisticated techniques having the same purpose, employ a diversity of approaches to producing a pregnancy.
Many church-related groups oppose this as "unnatural" and not ethical. Other groups limit their official organizational policy to protecting human life already conceived, and thus have no official position on the "preliminaries." All, however, totally object to the destruction of any of these tiny human lives once they exist. All, therefore, condemn the "pick-of-the-litter" practice. This is when certain "concepti" (embryos) are discarded (killed) while others are planted.
In 1993 the American Fertility Society reported on an aggregate of 33,000 attempts of "assisted reproductive technology." Remembering that in each attempt 3 to 5 embryos are planted, the success per attempt (not per embryo) was:
- 24,671 cycles with I.V.F. and 15% deliveries
- 5,452 cycles with GIFT and 26% deliveries
- 2,104 cycles with ZIT and 20% deliveries
- 714 cycles with combinations and 19% deliveries
In addition 4,838 frozen embryo procedures were tried with one of the above methods and had 11% deliveries.
ICSI is intracytoplasmic sperm injection, a new fertility procedure. In it a single sperm is injected directly into the ovum in the laboratory. Its authors claim a success rate equal to I.V.F. (Rozenwaks) GIFT is Gamet Intra-Fallopian Transfer. It brings together the egg and the husband's sperm collected from her vagina after the sex act. LTOT is Low Tubal Ovum Transport. It enables sperm to bypass a blocked tube. (American) ZIT is Zygote Intra-Fallopian Transfer. One study demonstrated that only 16% survived transfer. (Bustillo)
What of frozen embryos? Of embryos frozen on day 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5, the number...