Reproductive Technologies

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Reproductive Technologies
Introduction
Twenty years ago, the only reproductive technologies available to infertile couples were artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization. Since that time, there has been an increase of reproductive technologies, and a multitude of options are now available to those couples who are infertile. Infertility affects ten percent of men and women. One in six Canadian couples is infertile. To overcome infertility many couples have chosen the path of reproducing artificially using reproductive technologies. Reproductive technologies are a term referring to methods used to achieve pregnancy by artificial or partially artificial means. They help improve a couple’s chance of conceiving and carrying a child to term. The Canadian government had recognized the importance of reproductive technology and created the Bill C-13 which was introduced into the House of Commons on October 9th, 2002. This act is respecting assisted reproduction and related research. Attempts at the first non-human embryo transfer date back to the 1980’s. Improvements and discoveries over the following decades lead to the first successful IVF births in 1959 in rabbits by a Chinese scientist. The first human in vitro pregnancy was achieved in Australia in 1973, but it resulted in an early miscarriage. Louise Brown was the first baby conceived through in vitro fertilization. She was born on July 25, 1978, in Oldham, England. Dr. Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe had been researching fertility methods since 1968 that included artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization. In vitro fertilization is the most common type reproductive technology. This process involves s man’s sperm and the women’s eggs being collected and combined in a laboratory dish. The embryo is then transferred to the women’s uterus. One cycle of IVF costs on average $12, 400. It has a success rate of approximately twenty eight to thirty five percent. Artificial insemination or intrauterine insemination is another reproductive technique. A sample of sperm is directly injected into a women’s uterus. This allows the sperm to be screened for genetic disorders. The success rate is approximately five to twenty five percent. A new development in IVF is in vitro maturation. Immature eggs are collected from the ovary and ripened outside the women’s body. They are then fertilized through IVF. This treatment is suitable for women who cannot produce mature eggs. IVM has a success rate up to thirty percent. Technology is not the only type of fertility treatment for infertile couples. Couples may also take fertility drugs. Women can take these drugs to act hormones for women who aren’t producing eggs properly. Fertility drugs can range from fifty dollars to five thousand, depending on the type of treatment. Though reproductive technology helps infertile couples conceive, it also has its setbacks. Risks with reproductive technologies include bleeding or infection, birth defects, increased risk of cancer physical and financial stress and the chances of miscarriages at twenty percent.

Key Questions
How has reproductive technologies affected fertility?
Reproductive technologies have increased fertility. Couples who are unable to have children can now do so due to assisted reproductive technologies. It has provided happiness and hope for couples who were first deemed as infertile. Reproductive technologies have also helped same sex couples of having children. Women can conceive through donated sperm through in vitro fertilization or through artificial insemination. Also men can have children through a surrogate who can conceive with the multitude of reproductive technologies. Couples who settle down later in life with lower fertility rates can still have children with assisted reproductive technologies. What issue has arisen from assisted reproductive technologies?

Reproductive technologies have caused an ethical dilemma. Many individuals do not believe...
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