Tag Archives: ART

59 year old becomes oldest person ever to be given IVF treatment by a British clinic!

A 59-year-old woman has become the oldest person ever to be offered fertility treatment by a British clinic.

Doctors at the private London Women’s Clinic on Harley Street, one of the most successful IVF units in the country, have unanimously agreed to help Susan Tollefsen conceive.

Mrs Tollefsen, a retired teacher who turns 60 in October, said: ‘I’m still so full of life and healthy at 60 I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be treated.’

Until last week’s decision, older women have had to travel abroad for treatment – so-called ‘fertility tourism’ – because Government guidelines say the NHS should not recommend IVF to women over the age of 40 and private clinics generally will not treat women older than 50.

But in a move that has provoked an ethical storm over whether post-menopausal women have the right to fertility treatment, the clinic has decided to revise its policy.

Mrs Tollefsen already has a two-year-old child, conceived at a Russian clinic after she was refused treatment in the UK because of her age.

There are now calls for an upper age limit for fertility treatment to be enshrined in law, rather than simply a guideline.

Clinicians usually refuse to offer to treat women older than 50 because of health concerns, the reduced chances of success, and fears for the upbringing of children with such an old parent. Critics claim that women who put off motherhood until later in life are selfishly putting their own needs before a child’s.

Clinics also risk having their licences suspended if they do not take the welfare of any resulting children into account when providing IVF treatment. However, they do not have to inform the regulators if they are treating an older woman.

Normally, private clinics treat women over 50 only in exceptional circumstances, for example if she still has a menstrual cycle.

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Student Braves Controversy, Refuses to Recite Pledge

“Liberty and justice for all?”

Will Phillips doesn’t believe that describes America for its gay and lesbian citizens. He’s a 10-year-old at West Fork Elementary School in Arkansas, about three hours east of Oklahoma City. Given his beliefs, he refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, specifically because that one phrase, “liberty and justice for all,” he says, does not truly apply to all.

That did not go over well with the substitute teacher in his fifth-grade classroom.

The Arkansas Times reports that he started refusing to say the pledge Mon., Oct. 5. By Thursday, the substitute was steamed. She told Will she knew his mother and grandmother and they would want him to recite the pledge.

Will told the Times the substitute got more and more upset. She raised her voice. By this point, Will told the newspaper, he started losing his cool too, adding: “After a few minutes, I said, ‘With all due respect ma’am, go jump off a bridge.'”

That got him sent to the principal’s office. The principal made him look up information about the flag and what it represents. Meanwhile, there was the inevitable call to his mother.

 

At first, mom Laura Phillips told the Times, the principal talked about Will telling a substitute to jump off a bridge. When pressed, the principal admitted the whole incident was sparked by the boy exercising his constitutional right not to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Phillips suggested an apology was in order — from the teacher. When the principal said that wasn’t necessary, Will’s mother started venting to friends via Twitter. Those friends, in turn, told the news media. And what would have been a minor classroom incident has people throughout Arkansas and beyond choosing sides.

As for Will, he continues to exercise his right to remain silent. It can be rough at times, he and his family admit. He has his share of supporters, however, his critics are louder and nastier — especially because he took his stand to defend gay rights.

“In the lunchroom and in the hallway, they’ve been making comments and doing pranks, calling me gay,” he told the Times. “It’s always the same people, walking up and calling me a gaywad.”

Nonetheless, Will told the paper, he is sticking to his convictions. A reporter for the paper asked Will — with all this talk about patriotism and the pledge — what he thinks it means to be an American.

“Freedom of speech,” he responded. “The freedom to disagree. That’s what I think pretty much being an American represents.”

His mother is proud.

“He’s probably more aware of the meaning of the pledge that a lot of adults,” Phillips told the Times.

Watch the CNN interview at http://us.cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2009/11/16/am.boy.no.pledge.cnn

by Tom Henderson (Subscribe to Tom Henderson’s posts)

 

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A Cancer Patient Fathers a Child After 22 Years

A man who had his sperm frozen whilst undergoing treatment for leukaemia as a teenager, has, at 38, become the father of a healthy baby girl. Christopher Biblis from Charlotte, North Carolina, was 16 when he underwent radiotherapy treatment which would have left him sterile had his doctors not recommended he have his sperm frozen cryogenically for future use. In early March, his daughter Stella was born having been conceived using the technique intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a technique developed long after Biblis’ sperm had been frozen in 1986. 

’From my life being saved to being able to create a life…It’s truly a miracle’ Mr Biblis told ABC News. Stella was conceived after doctors selected the healthiest of Mr Biblis’ sperm cells after defrosting, and injected them directly into ten eggs cells which had been harvested from Melodie Biblis, Mr Biblis’s wife. Seven of the ten eggs fertilised successfully and two were implanted, leaving the other five for future treatment should the couple wish to have more children. Only one embryo survived and Stella is now a healthy one month old baby.

The fertility specialist treating the Biblis’s was Dr Richard L. Wing, founder of the Reproductive Endocrinology Associates of Charlotte (REACH). He said ‘I had no concern about working with old sperm – bovine and equine sperm has been frozen for long periods and has resulted in successful gestations’. The ICSI method brings an increased chance of conception beyond that expected in conventional IVF procedures where sperm and eggs are mixed to fertilise spontaneously. ‘They achieved pregnancy on their first cycle of ICSI…We had every reason to expect a perfect baby but are thrilled nonetheless’ said Dr Wing.

Last February, it was reported that a Canadian couple successfully conceived a baby boy after using sperm that had been stored 22 years, two months and two weeks. The longest-known storage period for sperm resulting in a live birth worldwide is 28 years, according to a 2005 data report in the American journal Fertility and Sterility.
Childhood cancer treatment has improved dramatically in the last decade resulting in a greater number of survivors. At the same time, improvements in the field of assisted conception are providing a great chance for male cancer survivors to father children of their own after potentially fertility-damaging treatment.
There is a relatively small window of opportunity before young male cancer patients begin treatment, so it is essential that health care providers are prepared and diligent about providing all options available in regard to improving future fertility.
There should be improved awareness of sperm banking and future fertility treatments that may impact the cancer patients quality of life.
Rotunda Sperm Bank offers sperm banking facilities to cancer patients and we have many cancer patients who have preserved their semen samples at Rotunda.

A man who had his sperm frozen whilst undergoing treatment for leukaemia as a teenager, has, at 38, become the father of a healthy baby girl. Christopher Biblis from Charlotte, North Carolina, was 16 when he underwent radiotherapy treatment which would have left him sterile had his doctors not recommended he have his sperm frozen cryogenically for future use. In early March, his daughter Stella was born having been conceived using the technique intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a technique developed long after Biblis’ sperm had been frozen in 1986. 

’From my life being saved to being able to create a life…It’s truly a miracle’ Mr Biblis told ABC News. Stella was conceived after doctors selected the healthiest of Mr Biblis’ sperm cells after defrosting, and injected them directly into ten eggs cells which had been harvested from Melodie Biblis, Mr Biblis’s wife. Seven of the ten eggs fertilised successfully and two were implanted, leaving the other five for future treatment should the couple wish to have more children. Only one embryo survived and Stella is now a healthy one month old baby.

The fertility specialist treating the Biblis’s was Dr Richard L. Wing, founder of the Reproductive Endocrinology Associates of Charlotte (REACH). He said ‘I had no concern about working with old sperm – bovine and equine sperm has been frozen for long periods and has resulted in successful gestations’. The ICSI method brings an increased chance of conception beyond that expected in conventional IVF procedures where sperm and eggs are mixed to fertilise spontaneously. ‘They achieved pregnancy on their first cycle of ICSI…We had every reason to expect a perfect baby but are thrilled nonetheless’ said Dr Wing.

Last February, it was reported that a Canadian couple successfully conceived a baby boy after using sperm that had been stored 22 years, two months and two weeks. The longest-known storage period for sperm resulting in a live birth worldwide is 28 years, according to a 2005 data report in the American journal Fertility and Sterility.

Childhood cancer treatment has improved dramatically in the last decade resulting in a greater number of survivors. At the same time, improvements in the field of assisted conception are providing a great chance for male cancer survivors to father children of their own after potentially fertility-damaging treatment.

There is a relatively small window of opportunity before young male cancer patients begin treatment, so it is essential that health care providers are prepared and diligent about providing all options available in regard to improving future fertility.

There should be improved awareness of sperm banking and future fertility treatments that may impact the cancer patients quality of life.

Rotunda Sperm Bank offers sperm banking facilities to cancer patients and  many young cancer patients have preserved their semen samples at Rotunda.

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World’s Oldest Mom an Indian, Now!

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Multiple joys: Three gynecologists — and moms — are personal experts on twins and triplets

Talk about multitasking. Of the eight female obstetrician-gynecologists who deliver babies at Sutter Roseville Medical Center in Roseville, California, three are the mothers of multiples.

 

Dr. Amy Riley’s triplets, Julia, Vivian and Alec are now four years old. Dr. Anna Almonte’s twin daughters, Katherine and Elizabeth, are 6. And Dr. Jackie Ho gave birth to the babies of the group – twins Marissa and Ellie Ow – on May 16.

Even more impressive, all three doctors have older children as well. Clearly, they’re well versed in the art of juggling the demands of home and family and a busy career.

 

“People will say, ‘I can’t imagine,’ ” Riley says. “But I can’t imagine anything else.”

For their patients, they set an encouraging example. Riley, Almonte and Ho understand the reassurance implicit in their care of nervous expectant mothers overwhelmed with the idea of carrying, delivering and raising multiples.

“I’m very encouraging about twins,” says Almonte, 37, who immigrated from Ukraine a dozen years ago. “I always say, ‘It’s double trouble, but it’s a double joy.’ “

 

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, the twin birth rate – more than 32 per 1,000 births – has increased 42 percent since 1990 and 70 percent since 1980, in large part the result of delayed childbearing. Beginning in their 30s, women are more likely to conceive twins naturally – and even more so when fertility treatments are involved.

 

In contrast, the birth rate for triplets and other multiples has declined slightly in recent years, the CDC says, following American Society of Reproductive Medicine recommendations limiting the number of embryos transferred during fertility procedures.

 

“When I was pregnant with my twins, I had four other couples at the same time in my practice carrying twins,” says Ho, 39, herself a twin. See? Twins, once a relative rarity, seem like they’re everywhere these days. Scratch the surface of most elementary schools and you’ll find a few sets of multiples.

 

And as Cindy Camarena, president of a California Moms of Multiples club, likes to say, when people see twins, they smile. Something about doubled- and even tripled-up siblings, whether identical or fraternal, still delights us.

 

For the record, Ho and Almonte both conceived their twin daughters the old-fashioned way, without the assistance of reproductive technology. “It was nothing but nature,” says Almonte.

 

On the other hand, when Riley and her husband, Damon, decided it was time to expand their family beyond their first daughter, Brenna, now 10, they struggled for several years. “Then one cycle with in-vitro fertilization, and there were three more kids,” says Amy Riley, who lives in Roseville. “It was like winning the lottery after four years of infertility.”

 

Carrying multiple babies comes with multiple risks, including preterm labor and toxemia. As expectant ob-gyns, the doctors knew more about those risks than most pregnant women.

 

“I think knowledge is always good,” says Ho, whose oldest daughter, Caroline, is 8. “When I found out I was having twins, I was very happy but at the same time worried about potential complications. “I was as excited as I could be, but I thought, ‘Am I going to end up having a C-section? Am I going to be able to take them home with me from the hospital, or will I have to leave them in the (neonatal intensive care unit)?’ “The extra knowledge caused extra concerns. But I also knew what to watch out for.”

 

And what do the twins and triplets watch out for? Often as not, each other.

“When there are three,” says Riley, “they learn to be more patient than other kids are. They all yell, ‘Mom,’ at the same time, but there’s only one mom. So they help each other out. And they’re very good at sharing.” “You teach your kids to be independent,” Almonte says. “They entertain each other.” Riley nods. “We had to constantly entertain our older daughter,” she says. “But these guys entertain each other.”

 

Meanwhile, Ho and her husband, Dr. Randy Ow, an ear, nose and throat specialist, make a point of devoting one night each week to their oldest daughter so she won’t feel overlooked in their newly twin-centered Roseville, Calif., household. “Life is good,” Ho says. “I have a very understanding husband. I’m still trying to be there as much as I can for my patients. When I leave work, I’m 100 percent with my kids. They keep us very busy, nonstop.

“We’re so happy with them.”

 

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Equal access to IVF for lesbian couples and single women

New laws that grant lesbian couples and single women equal access to IVF have been passed by MPs voting in Victoria’s Parliament. The Assisted Reproductive Treatment bill was approved by 47 votes to 34, in a three day debate that lasted in the early hours. It will now be debated in the Upper House before it can become law. 

MP’s were given a free conscience vote on the bill, which included measures to permit the posthumous use of gametes – such as using a dead partner’s sperm – with many opposing the bill on grounds of the welfare of the child. Labor MP Marlene Kairouz, who voted against the bill, told MPs: ‘Bringing a child into the world without ever having the opportunity to meet both its parents shows disregard for its wellbeing, its needs and dignity.’

The reform comes after a four-year review conducted by the Victorian Law Reform Commission in to the current artificial reproductive technology (ART) laws in Victoria contained in the Infertility Treatment Act, which the new bill will repeal. ‘This is about updating our laws, bringing them into the 21st century but ensuring that the interests of children born of these arrangements are absolutely paramount,’ said the Attorney-General, Rob Hulls, before last week’s debate. It will also mean Victorian laws meet federal discrimination legislation by ensuring all women have equal access to fertility treatment. At present, lesbians and single parents have to travel to other states to receive fertility treatment. The bill also give greater parental rights to gay couples and parents of surrogate children. 

Rainbow Families Council spokeswoman Felicity Marlowe expressed her support for the proposed measures. ‘What we’d be really wanting to see is that people understand that the spirit of this bill is that the rights and best interests of children are upheld and we believe that voting in favour of it in the upper house will ensure that our children are not second class citizens,’ she said. 

The Attorney-General dubbed the bill ‘good reform’. He said, ‘When we’re dealing with social reform and particularly, obviously, conscience votes there are always passionate views that are held on both sides of the house.’

Posted by: Goral Gandhi, MSc

                  Laboratory Director

                  Rotunda – The Center For Human Reproduction

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Placenta Previa after ART?

Researchers at St Olav’s University Hospital in Trondheim, Norway, have discovered a link between assisted reproduction and an increased risk of placenta previa – a dangerous complication of pregnancy where the placenta covers all or part of the cervix. The condition normally affects around three in 1000 births, but with a single IVF or ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) conception the risk raises to 16 in 1000. The researchers also examined women who had one pregnancy conceived naturally and one conceived using assisted reproduction (ART), in this case the risk rose from around seven in 1000 for two natural conceptions to 20 in 1000 for one ART and one natural; it did not make a difference which pregnancy was through assisted reproduction. This helps to rule out the possibility that there was some maternal factor in the single ART pregnancies which could cloud the findings.
The study, published in Human Reproduction, looked at more than 845,000 cases between 1988 and 2002, and was designed to correct for factors such as maternal age. The underlying reasons for the increased risk are not clear although the team postulate that the position in which the embryos are placed into the womb in ART may be a factor. There is research that suggests conception rates are higher when the embryo is inserted lower down in the uterus – this is also thought to reduce the risk of ectopic pregnancy. The team are now calling on fertility clinics to record this extra data. Dr Liv Bente Romundstad, leader of the study, said ‘we now routinely do this, but we need other centres worldwide to do this as well’. She added: ‘Although the risk of placenta previa is considerably higher with ART it is still quite rare, which means it will probably take several thousand pregnancies to get sufficient data to be able to make any definite recommendations about clinical practice’.
In the paper the researchers suggest that assisted reproduction techniques may induce uterine contractions after stimulation of the cervix, this may then lead to more embryos implanting low-down. If the placenta covers the whole of the cervix then the baby must be delivered by caesarean section. There is also an increased risk of bleeding or hemorrhage as the placenta is stretched during the final stages of pregnancy. 
Dr Romundstad said that ‘regardless of whether it was the first or second pregnancy that was conceived through assisted reproductive technology, we found a nearly threefold higher risk of placenta previa’, adding that ‘this suggests a substantial proportion of the extra risk may be attributable directly to factors relating to the reproduction technology’. In the light of the findings, Dr Mark Hamilton, chairman of the British Fertility Society, said that ‘patients who are considering IVF treatment should discuss concerns with their gynecologist in advance of treatment and those who are pregnant might want to discuss this with their obstetrician’.

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