Hyperstimulation Risk Increases Pregnancy Rates

Hyperstimulation Risk Photo

High doses of hormones for IVF treatment can cause hyperstimulation and result in death. In Europe and Japan lower doses of hormones are used to avoid hyperstimulation, but the pregnancy rates may go down.  The New York Times reported in their article “High Doses of Hormones Faulted in Fertility Care” that the US keeps the hormone levels high in order to have increased hospital success rates and remain competitive in the lucrative infertility market.  The best solution would be to become pregnant but to stay alive in the process.



Breeding Babies Photo

When my husband and I were using our donor eggs, the doctor said that we could genetically test the fetus in the petri dish to determine its sex.  I told the doctor that wasn’t necessary.  My husband asked why not?  I realized that he wanted a boy to continue his unbroken, 8th generation male line from a famous Jewish scholar called the Vilna Goen. However, when my husband heard the extra cost for the DNA testing, he backed down.  Now the New York Times reports that future technology will enable all couples to check the genetics of their fetus with a blood sample. If they discover that their offspring will not be a beautiful genius who becomes the next Olympic athlete, they will be able to eliminate that child and choose another.   


Sperm Donor Cystic Fibrosis Photo

 The New York Times recently reported that sperm donors are passing serious, disabling illnesses to their offspring.  Popular, disease carrying donors that donate multiple times become Typhoid Harry spreading rare genetic disorders.  Aged sperm, just like old eggs, are prone to deteriorate and have increased risk of progeny with health issues.  Recently sperm that were donated 20 years before and frozen created an offspring with Cystic Fibrosis.  Enhanced screening procedures would eliminate the proliferation of diseased sperm donor babies.


Freezing Your Eggs Photo

When I got divorced in my 30’s, I always knew that I wanted a baby if I remarried.  When I found my second husband in my 40’s, my eggs were no longer viable.  An article in the New York Times reported that parents desperate for a grandchild are taking their still single, aging daughters to freeze their eggs  for when they finally meet Mr. Right.  I wish my parents had taken me to the freezer when I got divorced.  I could have had a “I’m freezing my eggs divorce party,” and then been able to use my own eggs five years later rather than a donor.



When I remarried at age 44, I was determined to have my IVF baby with my own eggs.  I kept searching for an older mother who beat the odds and delivered an infant.  At last I found my shining light example in the waiting room, a vivacious woman finally pregnant with her much desired baby at age 44.  However, on the way out from her doctor’s appointment, she pulled me aside and confessed that she really had used a donor egg.  Now at last the New York Times has supplied my super mom who gave birth at age  44 with a 1 in 1,000 chance.  She had a little help by going to the fertility temple in Bhutan and getting hit on the head with a piece of wood by the monk.  I too would be happy to be blessed by the Bhutan monk. I’d gladly endure being clobbered with a wooden spoon, prodded with a fork or cut with a butter knife if it brought me my baby.




My egg donor produced one baby, and her second donation resulted in another pregnancy.  My baby already would have two biological half siblings.  I could have played Sherlock Holmes and discovered the identity of these children.  Already there is a website for the 150 and still counting prodigy of a prolific sperm donor.  A mother of one of the children keeps track of the growing family tree so that in the future her son could meet some of his brothers and sisters.  I did not want built-in relatives that were complete strangers. I also did not want to jeopardize my position as the mother of my child by establishing relationships that were based on the biological egg donor mother.  But I would have been open to an incest website to prevent the growing possibility of an egg donor child of mine inadvertently marrying a half sibling. Of course, since many egg donor recipients never reveal their egg donor origin to their child, I still could have a grandchild born of incest.


“Infertility treatments will kill you!” my mother exclaimed.  She was not taking the proud to be a grandmother stance that I had hoped.  Instead she was focusing on cancer.  My mother was convinced that the IVF hormones would be a breeding ground for tumors. “Victoria, your grandmother died of melanoma now you’ll be dead too!”  I disregarded my mother’s dire prophecies and proceeded with five IVF treatments with my own eggs. When those failed, I decided to try IVF again with donor eggs. My beautiful baby that beckoned at the end was worth fighting for. However, I knew that my mother was just being melodramatic when she claimed that I’d be dying for a baby as well.  Except that my mother was proven right.  A recent New York Times article found that IVF increases the risk of ovarian cancer fourfold.  Now I’d have to beat the odds to get pregnant and to not get a malignancy.