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Assisted Reproduction

IVF To Replace Sex For Procreation?

This new report, predicting that IVF will replace traditional reproduction, has gone viral very quickly. While undoubtedly the number of patients that will avail themselves of IVF will continue to increase, I do not see the end of days for coital reproduction. Admittedly, there are a number of benefits including increase success rates and the availability to perform PGD pre-embryo transfer.

Yet before the right-wing noise machine starts ratcheting up the rhetoric and begins worrying about the rejection of traditional family values, they should take solace in the fact that the cost of IVF remains out-of-reach for most and having babies the old fashioned way is much more enjoyable. Not to mention that most people when initially considering family building options do not normally factor efficiency into the equation – at least not until they have had a number of failed attempts to become pregnant.

By the way, the person predicting that sex will become primarily a recreational activity, is a vetinarian. No disrespect to veterinarians, but doing cow inseminations is a far cry from assisted reproduction on humans. According to the report:

Having sex to conceive a child will become unnecessary within a decade, as in-vitro fertilization becomes more popular among 30-somethings, scientists predicted Monday. Calling human natural reproduction “a fairly inefficient process,” Australian veterinarian John Yovich told London’s Daily Mail that sex will soon become just a recreational activity.

“Within the next five to 10 years, couples approaching 40 will assess the IVF industry first when they want to have a baby,” said Yovich, a veterinary doctor from Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. He said in-virto fertilization will advance to the point of having “a near 100% success rate.”

Currently, about 15% to 20% of women ages 38 to 40 are able to conceive using IVF, according to the American Pregnancy Association. That figure drops to about 6% to 10% after age 40. The predictions, which Yovich and Australian vet Gabor Vajta co-wrote with two other scientists, were published in the medical journal Reproductive BioMedicine.

They based their research on tests in cattle that showed in-vitro fertilization was successful nearly every time. Gedis Grudzinskas, a London-based infertility specialist, said he was skeptical. “It wouldn’t surprise me if IVF does become significantly more efficient than natural reproduction, but I doubt whether you could ever completely guarantee that it would work,” he said


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