Saturday, April 29, 2006

Britons warned about IVF holidays

The Human fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which monitors fertility clinics in England and Wales, issued warnings to Britons who are considering having IVF treatment at a foreign fertility center, spreading FUD (fear, uncertain, and doubt) about the safety of it. The HFEA said couples should consider what happens if there are complications, or how their personal information might be handled, considerations, of course, no matter where you undergo IVF treatment, including in your home country if you are a Briton.

The western medical community and media typically take a very parochial view of the world, disparaging the world class treatment available elsewhere, perhaps out of ignorance or maybe fear of losing their control and position. Experience has shown that the top IVF centers in Southeast Asia and elsewhere have better treament of patients who have complications, which can occur anywhere. And there is no waiting to get treatment, like in the UK.

A spokesman for the HFEA named Suzi Leather was quoted in a Reuters news story saying she had "heard stories" of foreign IVF doctors implanting an excessive number of embryos to ensure pregnancy. Well, Ms. Suzi, we have all "heard stories" and many of the really bad ones are about medical treatment in the U.S. and UK.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

China institutes controls on IVF procedures

China's Ministry of Health has imposed a ban on commercial egg donation and supply. Also, interestingly, they now restrict the use of a single sperm donation to use in impregnating no more than five women. Only authorized institutions are allowed to receive donated sperm. As of the end of March, China had 64 institutions that were authorised to offer assisted reproduction related services and seven institutions have established sperm banks.

The restriction on the use of sperm from donors could be reasoned to be concerns over too many offspring from a single donor. The ban on commercial egg donation follows concerns arising worldwide about possible exploitation of women willing to sell their eggs.