Ova, but not the ones for eating...for that you should read an earlier post on owsblog that deals with the delicious and nutritious wonder that is the egg. This title refers to a new egg-freezing technique; one that according to scientists "could give women a better chance of having a baby when they are older". We know that sperm can be successfully frozen because is the simplest cell in the body; it is easy to collect (from those simple organic containers...of which I am one), thawed, and used in fertility treatment...BUT...the human egg is the most complex cell and naturally is produced within the complicated organic containers – women, and they only produce one egg per ‘cycle’. Basically, the new technique will make it possible to achieve good rates of success with 10-20 frozen-thawed eggs (let’s say a round dozen) whereas before women would need to have hundreds of eggs frozen to ensure a reasonable chance of producing a child....
This new research coincides with the first study to show that IVF single embryo transfer is just as successful as double transfer in older women and apparently safer. It also coincides with this news report: PRAGUE (Reuters) June 21 2006, "More than 3 million babies have been born following fertility treatment since the birth of the first IVF child nearly three decades ago,..."
All this seems overly concerned with women who can’t conceive, or women who want babies later in life when perhaps their body clock is starting to suggest they shouldn’t, is this right do you think? ...It surprised me to learn that an estimated one in seven couples has difficulty conceiving, a statistic that sounds incredible even though I know fertility can be affected in both men and women. Sometimes, the exact cause is never established; in the UK around one baby in 80 is born as a result of IVF treatment.
"Stress really can be a cause of infertility, in men and in women, and it can be managed," Berga [Professor Sarah Berga] said at a fertility conference. "But by managing it you improve your fertility."
To counteract all the bad press that some of the multiple births that have occurred using IVF treatment paid for by the taxpayer, UK researchers have calculated that each child will contribute £147,000 in taxes and insurance to the UK economy compared to £13,000 that it costs to create a baby in the first place; this is why it is argued that the NHS should fund, in part, IVF treatment – funding 3 cycles would "result in 10,000 more IVF babies over two to three years."
Also from Reuters today: "A vasectomy can be reversed and men have fathered children afterwards. But Professor Nares Sukcharoen, of the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, said men who have had a reversal may have an increased risk of damaged sperm.
In a small study of men who had a vasectomy reversal, Sukcharoen and his team found a higher number of chromosome abnormalities in sperm than in men who had not had the surgery.
"The conclusion of the study is that the vasectomy seemed to be the cause of the abnormal sperm," he told a press conference at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE).
I have considered freezing my sperm, a friend had the snip and 3 months later they had a car crash and their baby son died – I was horrified and convinced myself it was a good enough reason not to get 'done': this was several years ago when a ‘snipping’ was very much under discussion and a bit silly really because the guy in question had the op reversed and now they have another child; also I considered donating sperm as I seemed quite fertile or at least had a few active little tadpoles that seemed very able to attain their role in life but never got round to that either (!!!) then, in April 2005, the law surrounding donating sperm, eggs or embryos was changed and those donating nowadays cannot remain anonymous...ah well, all the practicing I did was enjoyable.