Should it be implemented in society today?
“Infertility, also known as primary infertility, is the inability of a couple to become pregnant (regardless of cause) after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse using no birth control methods. Similarly, secondary infertility refers to the inability to maintain pregnancy until birth” (Emedicinehealth, 2012). Statistics have shown that within Australia a staggering one in six couples is infertile. With 40% of cases resting with the male, 40% with the female, 10% with both partners, and in a further 10% the cause is unknown (ABC Health and Wellbeing, 2007). For one discovering that themselves or their partner is infertile can be an extremely traumatic experience, but there are a number of treatments that can be used to increase chances of a successful pregnancy. Some of these include the following; ovulation induction, artificial insemination, In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), GIFT (Gamete intrafallopian transfer), Donor Eggs and Sperm, and Freezing of Sperm and Embryos etc.
In-Vitro Fertilization or IVF is one of the most effective and well-known methods within Australia at this time. It is used to treat infertility that arises from blockages of the fallopian tubes, endometriosis, abnormal sperm, and some cases of unexplained infertility. The treatment involves the woman being treated with hormones to stimulate growth of eggs within the ovaries. The eggs are then removed and put into a dish with the partners (or donors) sperm. The fertilized eggs are then grown in a laboratory and placed back into the woman’s uterus (ABC Health and Wellbeing, 2007). The first IVF baby in Australia (and the world’s third) was born in 1980, under the supervision of doctors at Monash University. Shortly after this, the accessibility of IVF in Australia increased rapidly as did research concerning the treatment. IVF clinics were established in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth in the early 1980’s. Australian scientists took the leading role (that they now still hold) in the development of IVF technology (Virtual Medical Centre, 2012). Since then there have been numerous social and legal issues and considerations that have evolved from the perspectives of many different cultural groups and individuals within society. Some of these issues include the cost of the procedure and who has to pay; does the physician have an ethical if not a legal obligation to provide a couple with IVF; rights of the embryo (personhood); possible wrong doing to offspring; and transmitting serious disorders.
Technology and Application
The vital parts that are needed in IVF include the Uterus, Cervix, Fallopian Tubes, Ovaries, and Eggs. These are all parts of the female reproductive system as seen in the diagram below.
The eggs are what can be seen as one of the most important parts of the IVF process. Eggs are produced in the ovaries, but they are not yet true eggs and will not complete meiosis until a sperm fertilizes them. A human female has about 40,000 potential eggs formed before birth, but only several hundred of these will ever be released during reproductive years. After the beginning of puberty, due to the stimulation of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) one egg matures and is released from the ovary. (Biology.clc.edu, 2004) The Uterus has thick, muscular walls and is small being about 7 centimeters long by 4 to 5 centimeters wide but can expand to hold a 4-kilogram baby. The lining of the uterus is called the endometrium, and has a rich capillary supply to bring food to embryos that might be implanted there. (Biology.clc.edu, 2004) In Vitro Fertilization Present
The process of In Vitro Fertilization involves the process of fertilizing eggs with sperm outside of the body, and once fertilized the resulting embryos are placed into the woman’s uterus to hopefully end up in a successful pregnancy. (Better Health, 2011) The IVF treatment is...