In Vitro Fertilization

ART in the News: Weekend Round-Up Edition

"Frankenstein Science," Quadruplets, A Gene for Infertility, and More

May 27, 2008

posted by Cheryl Miller | 9:46 am
File As: Bioethics and Medicine, Stem Cell Research, Assisted Reproductive Technologies, In Vitro Fertilization, Embryo, Moral Status of the, Cloning, ART in popular culture, GLBT Parents, Sperm Donation, Third-Party Reproduction

ART in the News: International Edition

Infertility Awareness Week, the HFEA, and more

May 21, 2008

posted by Cheryl Miller | 3:30 pm
File As: Bioethics and Medicine, Stem Cell Research, Assisted Reproductive Technologies, In Vitro Fertilization, Embryo, Moral Status of the, Cloning, Egg Donation, GLBT Parents, Third-Party Reproduction

ART in the News

A Phony War on Science, Different Takes on Older Moms, etc.

May 8, 2008

posted by Cheryl Miller | 9:39 am
File As: Bioethics and Medicine, Assisted Reproductive Technologies, In Vitro Fertilization, Eugenics, Contemporary, Surrogacy

"Having sex to get pregnant -- how last season!"

May 5, 2008

Somehow, I missed this, but South African blogger Tertia Albertyn (mentioned in my article, "Blogging Infertility") has advice on how to stay sane while trying to conceive:

Know that IVF is nothing to be embarrassed about.
In fact my husband and I are actually damn proud that we did IVF. It shows our strength and determination to reach our goal. I mean, really, having sex to get pregnant--how last season! And don't be embarrassed about how many IVFs you've done. Who cares?! Some people might think you are obsessive (so what?) or that you don't know when to stop. Wrong. You might not know exactly when you will stop, but you know it is not with this IVF. You do as many as you want to do. If you only want to do one, that's your choice.

posted by Cheryl Miller | 5:02 pm
File As: Assisted Reproductive Technologies, In Vitro Fertilization

Articles of Note

May 1, 2008

More women over 40 are having babies, reports the Cape Cod Times:

Kim Cabral of Brewster thought she was in early menopause. Instead, she found out she was pregnant. In April 2006, Cabral gave birth to her third child, William, at age 45.

She marvels: "Each child is special, but when you're older, you cherish each little thing. My husband and I were at the playground the other day and he said, 'What would we be doing now without William?' I answered, 'We'd be home watching TV.'

An Australian man explains why he became a sperm donor:

“I chose to be a known donor – that can mean seeing the child only four times a year, or it can mean having more involvement if the mothers would like. Or, like in the case of a couple I helped, my interaction with the child will be through photos and via the webcam,” Mayger said.

“It’s not so much for my benefit, though I do greatly enjoy the contact I have with my gift children. It is for the child’s benefit, so they can know their biological heritage.

A family celebrates the 25th anniversary of Strong Fertility Center:

Despite low odds, the Kohls had a triple success on the first try, becoming the parents of the first triplets born through the Strong Fertility Center.

As the program, which is part of the University of Rochester Medical Center, celebrates its 25th anniversary this week, the Kohls reflect on their experience and fertility specialists review how much has changed.

Worldwide, IVF first led to a baby in 1978 in England. The first such baby in the United States was born in 1981.

"I do remember feeling like wow, if this doesn't work, then what?" Annette Kohl, now 51, recalls. "It was our last resort to having a biological child."

A baby mama's take on Baby Mama:

My favorite part would be the happy ending, with both women experiencing motherhood. With surrogacy, a bond develops between the surrogate mother and the intended parent. I am happy that the movie touched on the strength of this type of relationship.

posted by Cheryl Miller | 2:26 pm
File As: Assisted Reproductive Technologies, In Vitro Fertilization

On Other Blogs

Humanzees, Repro-Lit, and Sex-Selection

May 1, 2008

posted by Cheryl Miller | 9:14 am
File As: Assisted Reproductive Technologies, In Vitro Fertilization

ART in the News

Extreme Preemies, Ticking Clocks, and GINA

April 27, 2008

posted by Cheryl Miller | 12:56 pm
File As: Assisted Reproductive Technologies, In Vitro Fertilization

Infertility and E-patients

April 16, 2008

Susannah Fox at has a brief interview with Melissa of Stirrup Queens. (Full disclosure: I am mentioned, because of my "Blogging Infertility" article.) I was taken by this question in particular:

SF: In Miller's article, she writes about how infertility was a "silent disorder" and went on to talk about how this generation is no longer silent – do you agree? Has the internet had an impact on this "coming out" process? Related to that, have you taken inspiration or learned techniques from other formerly "silent" communities?

If you had asked me this question 2 years ago, I would have said that our generation is far from silent. But now, 2 years down the road, I can see the huge difference between speaking about it online and speaking about it face-to-face. The Internet makes discussion easy and it can be a misleading barometer of how open people are in the face-to-face world.

I think my generation is more "out"--that there are simply more of us that are willing to speak about it frankly and openly vs. my parent's generation. Which is not to say that everyone is open or that it is no longer a silent community. I think we're doing a good job connecting within the community and talking within the community and building in-roads within the community. And that is the first step. The next step is taking it outside the community, tearing down the stereotypes that are often presented in the media, having frank discussions in the same way we now do about other diseases that were whispered about years ago.

This conflict between privacy and exposure was something that fascinated me while interviewing the bloggers. When I first went in, I was a little skeptical about all the talk of raising awareness from these (mostly) anonymous bloggers. Many hadn't even told their families or friends. If you can’t even talk openly with the people closest to you, I thought, how are you going to educate the public at large? 

After talking with bloggers, I changed my mind. For one thing, my interviews made clear how difficult it is to be "out" 24/7 about your infertility. Who — and what — to tell is a question the infertile have to struggle with on a daily basis. Do you use every awkward exchange as a “teachable moment,” an opportunity to educate others about the 6.1 million people struggling with infertility? And who is appropriate to "educate": relatives you see once a year, co-workers, neighbors, total strangers who just happened to ask an innocent, but painful, question? During an interview, Gabrielle Sedor of Fertility Notes told me about how she was teased by co-workers who were unaware of her infertility. “Do you go into the whole story right there in the break room?” she asked me. “Or do you just let it slide?” And then there's the fact, as Melissa put it, that “infertility is about your sex life, and no one wants to hear about your sex life.”

Aside from that, I also began to see blogging more as an intermediary step in the way Melissa describes above. Blogging's appeal, I think, is much like that of the “Common Thread” bracelet: It’s discreet and public at the same time. Only those in the know will understand the bracelet’s meaning, and, only they — or at least that’s the common assumption — will be reading your posts about just how obnoxious your pregnant sister-in-law is. (A few of the bloggers even assumed I was infertile since they couldn't figure out how else I would have found them.)

Yet, many of the bloggers had started their sites as a way of building a movement and raising awareness. They weren't ready to tell just anyone about their infertility, but they still wanted to make a public contribution, to help educate. Blogging gives people a way of participating without necessarily becoming the "poster child" for a disease. It's a compromise of sorts. Also, there might be less need to "come out" since there are now so many public faces of infertility: Peggy Orenstein, Beth Kohl, Brenda Strong, and many others.

posted by Cheryl Miller | 4:47 pm
File As: Assisted Reproductive Technologies, In Vitro Fertilization