Thursday, May 25, 2006

IVF may raise risk of "low lying placenta disorder"

Several European news sources are carrying a story on the results of a study released by Norwegian researchers that indicate that women underdoing IVF treatment may have a substantially increased chance of experiencing placenta praevia, a condition in which the placenta blocks the womb’s entrance. This condition, also referred to as "low placenta", is potentially serious for both mother and baby.

The study showed that women underdoing IVF had up to six times increased chances of experiencing placenta praevia. The reason for the complication is still unknown but researchers believe it may be related to the causes of infertility. If that is the case, that would mean that it is not the IVF treatment itself that is causing the complication. But the condition leading to the need for IVF treatment. If researchers can definitively identify the cause that could lead to safer IVF treatments.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Medical tourism specialty: Fertility tourism

Medical tourism isn't new. It has steadily grown for years, more rapidly in recent years as medical costs spiral up and quality of care plummets in the west. Now we are getting medical tourism specialties. A story in early April in Newsweek's online international edition has a web page titled "Fertility Tourism: Childless Couples Try India". The story focuses on a British couple that went to India to find a surrogate. That part of the story is quite interesting and includes some of the issues that make finding a surrogate in the UK so difficult. But the thing that caught my eye was the term "fertility tourism". I suppose all sorts of related terms could be coined, dental tourism, etc. As the popularity of medical tourism grows the specializations and specialized terminology are bound to grow as well.