When they came into the world, I knew I was complete.
Time to ditch diet drinks for good.
If I had a dollar for every time you told me I was doing it wrong, I’d be rich.
Gender selection has been an issue of contention within the Australian IVF industry for a number of years. They have the technology and have had for some time, but it’s currently illegal for either medical or non-medical reasons. This is why a proposed reshuffling of ethical guidelines within the Australian IVF sector has been relatively controversial.
If the proposal is implemented, IVF clients would have access to choose the sex of their baby regardless of reasoning. This would bring Australian laws surrounding IVF technology in line with countries such as the US. Additionally, the proposed changes will include financial compensation for female egg donors, much like male sperm donation.
For some couples with valid medical issues, these proposed changes would come as a blessing. These include people with a family history of disabilities who have been genetically tested and identified as having predisposed gene mutations. As some genes only become activated in either male or female offspring, having a choice to select the sex of their baby would significantly reduce their chances of conceiving a child with disabilities.
I know this may sound harsh or even unethical to some, however, having a child with special needs myself and coming from a family which harbours mutant genes for several types of intellectual disabilities, I know first hand the impact mutant genes can have on an individual and their family. There’s also a high cost to the community at large. Therefore, these proposed changes for medical reasons are valid.
It’s when the concept of designer families are breached that the issue of sex selection gets blurred. Currently in the name of “family balancing,” couples hell bent on specifically having a boy or girl have paid big bucks to travel outside of Australia. In places such as the US they have access to IVF facilities where they can choose the sex of their babies.
What does the Australian public think?
The most recent research was done back in 2013 and was conducted by Roy Morgan. They wanted to determine what Australians thought of IVF and sex selection. The results, listed below, were in favour of IVF in general, but selecting the sex of a child was a very different story.
- IVF treatment: 92 per cent agreed with IVF treatment while only 8 per cent opposed it.
- IVF treatment with gender selection for family balancing (non-medical reasoning for second and subsequent children): 20 per cent agreed with the proposal, while 80 per cent disagreed.
- IVF treatment with gender selection (selecting the gender of any child): 17 per cent agreed with the proposal while 80 per cent disagreed – 3 per cent were undecided.
There was no polling specifically for medical reasoning.
Whether or not these controversial changes will go ahead is yet to be determined. Obviously there is debate raging from both sides of the equation, each with exceptionally strong views. So, I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see which side has the strongest argument and comes out the victor.
Many women are now choosing to freeze their eggs for fertility treatment later on in life, but what is the process and why would you want to? Read on to find out:
Why do women consider freezing their eggs?
Because a woman’s fertility is dependent on the age of her eggs a lot of women choose to freeze them if they haven’t yet met a suitable partner or if the time isn’t right for them to have children perhaps due to career or educational goals. Freezing your eggs at an early age can maximise your chances of becoming pregnant if you have problems in the future. Some women also freeze their eggs due to medical reasons ranging from impaired ovarian function to chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment for cancer.
What is the process?
The process is the same as IVF except once the eggs are retrieved they are frozen. So, a woman will spend 2-4 weeks self-administering hormone injections and birth control pills to temporarily turn off natural hormones, stimulate the ovaries and ripen the eggs. When the eggs are mature they are removed under mild sedation through the vagina which takes about 10-15 minutes. Depending on the woman’s age and the success of the fertility medications there could be zero eggs retrieved or more than fifteen. The eggs are then evaluated for health and then frozen.
Is the retrieval painful?
The actual egg retrieval should not be painful because an anaesthetic will be administered prior to the procedure but afterwards some cramping may be experienced, much like menstrual cramping.
What happens when I need them again?
When the woman is ready to use the eggs they are thawed then fertilised with sperm in the hope that a healthy embryo will be created. If so, it will then be transferred to the woman’s uterus with a chance of pregnancy.
How much does it cost for the process?
The cost is similar to that of IVF which can be around $10,000 then the cost to keep the eggs frozen can be up to $1000 each year. There will also be additional costs when the eggs are thawed, fertilised and transferred.
If you think that freezing your eggs could be for you, contact your GP or a fertility expert for more information.
Image via eggfreezingdoctor.com
Having successfully had two children myself I can’t imagine what it would be like not to be able to conceive or carry a baby, but for many women having a baby is not so simple. Recurrent miscarriages, numerous failed IVF attempts, an abnormal uterus or certain health conditions that make pregnancy dangerous are all common reasons why more Australian women as well as same sex couples are now looking at surrogacy as a viable way of having a baby.
What are the types of surrogacy?
Commercial surrogacy is when the surrogate mother is paid a fee for her services beyond the cost of the medical fees. This form of surrogacy is currently illegal in Australia.
Altruistic surrogacy is when the surrogate mother is paid no financial reward for the pregnancy – only the medical costs are covered by the parents. Although different states in Australia have different laws, this form of surrogacy is legal throughout most of Australia.
Why do some women prefer surrogacy over adoption?
- There are very few children up for adoption each year in Australia
- There are age limits to adoptive parents
- Surrogacy uses the embryo from the parents which means they will be genetically linked to the child
Because advertising for a surrogate is illegal, finding a surrogate in Australia can be a difficult and lengthy process. There are certain rules and regulations that need to be adhered to as well as Police checks and counselling sessions for all involved which puts a lot of people off the process. For these reasons as well as the fact that commercial surrogacy is illegal in Australia, it forces more and more women to turn to countries like Thailand or India to find women who they can pay to carry their child. Unfortunately a lot of these babies are born in what some people describe as ‘baby factories’ where hundreds of women are paid a minimal amount of money to live and carry babies for couples who are unable to conceive.
Although these ‘factories’ can be a god-send for many Western couples, there have been horror stories of surrogate mothers being mistreated, baby mix ups and multiple embryos transferred to multiple surrogates to increase the chance of a successful pregnancy which then results in the parents being left with multiple children.
If commercial surrogacy was legalised in Australia we would hope that surrogate mothers would be treated respectfully, they would receive proper medical care and they would be paid a fair amount of money. Despite this though, there is always the concern that some surrogate mothers would be influenced by the money without being well informed and there is the potential for some people to profit from the misfortune of desperate parents.
A lot of people think it’s unfair that some parents have to travel overseas to have a baby and that the laws in Australia should be relaxed to make surrogacy easier and more appealing. After all, it is the only option that some parents have of having a child that is genetically related to them.
Do you think that if commercial surrogacy in Australia was legalised it would work?
Image via diggma.com
By Karyn Miller
Courteney Cox wants a baby
Friendsstar Courteney Cox Arquette has admitted to Barbara Walters in a US television interview that she and husband David Arquette have been having major trouble getting pregnant. The actress revealed the heartbreaking news that she has suffered “many miscarriages” but Courteney added that they were trying to stay positive and hoped that parenthood would still be possible for them. The couple is also undergoing treatment with IVF. The Hollywood duo, who have been happily married for four years, say that they’d consider adopting a child, but Courteney added, “I do want his genes, and I would try probably a surrogate before that … but then, absolutely, adoption.?
New CD proves Dido can survive post Eminem
After four years in the musical wilderness, UK songbird Dido is back with a new album Life for Rent, and she?s keen to prove she is not a one-hit wonder. Dido?s unique voice gained a wide audience in an unusual way a couple of years back – she was sampled by Eminem in the chorus of his hit song Stan. But with good early sales for Life for Rent, it might well be that she can step out of the shadow of bad boy rapper.
As her popularity has increased, so have the requests to ?tart herself up a bit? to sell more albums. Not one to be pushed around, her clever response was “I get offered all the covers of all the men’s magazines and I’m like `Well if I’ve done alright and bought myself total musical freedom already without taking my clothes off, why do I need to now?’ It’s nicer to have an aura of mystery and to keep something back,” she says. Pity that some of her other female performers didn?t think the same way! Should someone have given Jewel that advice?
Demi Moore meets younger boyfriend’s mum
Hey, does it mean you are going steady if you meet your boyfriend?s parents? If so, Demi Moore and toy boy Ashton Kutcher appear to have stepped it up a notch or two. Rumour has it that Ashton took Demi home to meet his Momma in Iowa for some good home cooking. Kutcher?s mom, Diane Portwood cooked up a storm for the lovebirds, who were holed up at her place for the whole weekend avoiding those pesky paparazzi who had tracked them down. Ashton?s mum told PeopleNews, that Demi was very real and not the diva she expected. Diane said ‘What I’ve found is when you meet many of these so-called celebrities in person, they are really down to earth. We sat down and talked about her kids, and my kids and we had a great time.’ Awww, shucks sounds like Demi still knows how to impress!
Billboard top 100 ruled by African Americans
For the first time in the 40-year history of the American music charts, African American artistes have taken out the top ten positions in the Billboard Hot 100. No mean feat considering that, since it?s inception, white musicians have dominated the Billboard Hot 100, considered the most prestigious of music charts in the US.
The Top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart up to last week were as follows:
1. Baby Boy – Beyonce/Sean Paul
2. Shake Ya Tail feather – Nelly, P Diddy and Murphy Lee
3. Get Low – Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz featuring the Ying Yang Twins
4. Right Thurr- Chingy
5. Frontin – Pharell featuring Jay-Z
6. Damn – Young Bloodz featuring Lil Jon
7. PIMP – 50 Cent
8. Into You – Fabolous featuring Ashanti
9. Stand Up – Ludacris featuring Shawna
10.Where is the Love – Black Eyed Peas
(currently #1 in several countries around the world including the UK and Australia