Caitlin Dunne is a Co-Director at the Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine (PCRM) in Vancouver and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia.
A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics has linked fertility treatment with a risk of childhood cancer. The researchers linked data on babies from an American fertility database with birth and cancer registry data from 14 states. Their study spanned an eight-year time period, including 275 686 children conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) and 2 266 847 children who were conceived naturally. The focus was on young children, up to four and a half years old. ...continue reading →
Yesterday, after a long public consultation by the Human Fertility and Embryology Authority and a heated debate and vote in the English House of Commons, it began to seem likely that the UK will be the first country to allow the practice of mitochondrial transfer (albeit with safeguards). If the House of Lords approves it, this will result in an amendment to the UK’s 2008 law regulating IVF, embryological manipulation and pre-implantation genetic therapies. We’re effectively seeing glimmerings of a green light for the creation of ‘three-parent babies’ in the UK.
I've been following this process closely. Once I understood the reason WHY mitochondrial transfer is important in the prevention of certain serious diseases of mitochondrial DNA, I felt convinced that legalising it was the right thing to do. ...continue reading →
Rhonda and Gerry Wile’s journey to creating their family is documented on their personal blog and in Leslie Morgan Steiner’s new book, The Baby Chase.
Rhonda and Gerry met and married in their late 20s. Like many women, Rhonda had dreamed of a future in which she would be a mother. Unfortunately, Rhonda discovered that she had an uncommon medical condition that resulted in infertility: although she had two vaginas and two uteruses, and could easily become pregnant, the small size of each uterus meant that all of her pregnancies would result in miscarriage. The Wiles could be included in the 16% of Canadian heterosexual couples affected by infertility.
Infertility is increasing in Canada, as it is elsewhere, and it can be a heartbreaking, isolating and depressing diagnosis. More and more couples who want to start their families are forced to make some very difficult choices as to how far they are willing to go to create a baby. For the Wiles, those choices took them thousands of kilometres from home.
Couples like the Wiles have four options for dealing with infertility: remaining child-free, seeking fertility treatment, pursuing adoption, and surrogacy. According to Morgan Steiner, about 50% of couples will choose to remain child-free and not seek other options. The remainder who choose to continue on the path to parenthood must navigate some very murky waters. ...continue reading →