What happens to these tiny humans?

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a form of Assisted Reproductive Technology/Treatment (ART). According to the American Pregnancy Association, IVF involves

“The process of fertilization by manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish, and then transferring the embryo to the uterus.”

Hence, IVF is the manufacturing of human life in a lab.

So what happens to the life created?

The Yale University School of Medicine published a recent study in the international journal of Fertility and Sterility. Their findings conclude that of every 100 eggs fertilized within an IVF laboratory, only 5 of the tiny human beings will ever make it to live birth. The vast majority of these left-over humans are left to die.

Through In Vitro Fertilization, there are five different ways in which these babies will die:

1. Implantation failure:

Multiple eggs are taken from the woman’s uterus and fertilized in case of failure. Since failure rate increases with a woman’s age, more than one embryo is often placed in a woman’s womb with the hope that at least one will implant and continue to grow. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology have outlined specific recommendations for the number of embryos to be placed in a woman’s womb, which vary based on her age.

At the same time, the rate of successful implantation still dramatically decreases with a woman’s age. The following figure is taken from the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago. It displays the percentage of embryos which are successfully implanted, after being transferred to women in different age groups.

IVF image

From this graph, it can be deduced that:

For women <35:          62.9% of their embryos did not implant.

For women 35-37:       72.5% of their embryos did not implant.

For women 38-40:       81.3% of their embryos did not implant.

For women 41-42:       90.3% of their embryos did not implant.

For women 43-44:       95.9% of their embryos did not implant.

For women >44:          97.8% of their embryos did not implant.

An article in the Daily Mail recently sited figures gathered from the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the fertility industry regulator of the U.K. which has monitored the IVF process since 1991. According to them, a total of 1.3 million embryos have been implanted and just one in six have resulted with pregnancy. All of the remaining embryos consequently died.

2. Embryos are thrown away:

During the In Vitro Fertilization process, excess embryos are created for the procedure. It is said that one IVF treatment might yield as many as 20 “surplus” embryos.

The Daily Mail once again sites the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) in saying that 1.7 million embryos created through IVF have been essentially thrown away and killed. Only 7% of the embryos created led to pregnancy.

3. Embryos are frozen and thawed:

According to a RAND-SART survey, there are approximately 400,000 embryos currently frozen in the U.S. Sadly, many of these babies do not survive. Their destiny, if they are not re-used, is to either be donated for research or discarded. However, the storage process itself can be lethal. In their article, “Embryo Freezing (Cryopreservation),” the Genetics & IVF Institute state that 10% of embryos frozen and thawed “partially survive” (meaning less than half of their cells are still alive) and 20-25% of frozen embryos completely die.

4. Embryos are used for research:

Of the 400,000 embryos frozen into storage, it is said that approximately 2.8% will be used for research. That may seem like a small percentage, but in reality, that means 11,000 babies will die in a lab. Frozen embryos are typically used for embryonic stem cell research. You can read more about the destruction of life through embryonic stem cell research here.

5. Embryos are aborted:

The Mayo Clinic states,

“If more than one embryo is implanted in your uterus, IVF can result in a pregnancy with more than one fetus (multiple pregnancy).”

Hence, the life of the unwanted child can be terminated through “reduction” or abortion. Doctors and patients can also choose which baby they want to keep and which baby they want to abort in a selective manner. In Committee Opinion number 553 of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists on Multifetal Pregnancy Reduction, selective reduction on the basis of fetal sex, the presence of disabilities, and medical risks are discussed as options with the parents.

The Telegraph reports that Down syndrome is the number one reason behind the selective abortion of test tube babies. They site the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority in stating that 127 IVF babies were aborted in the year 2009 because of this genetic disorder. In addition, fetal abnormality accounted for nineteen abortions and Edward’s syndrome accounted for fifteen.

Are there alternatives to IVF?

There are in fact alternatives to In Vitro Fertilization. These alternatives preserve and protect human life, are safe for women and children, and have relatively higher rates of success.

One option that is always available for infertile couples is adoption. When a couple chooses to adopt, they give a child the gift of a home, a family, and most especially, love. If you are interested in adoption, you can learn more at:

Bethany Christian Services: 1-800-Bethany (1-800-238-4269)

American Adoptions: 1-800-236-7846

Adoption Center of Illinois: 1-800-676-2229

In addition to adoption, there is a new women’s health science called Natural Procreative Technology, orNaPro, which has proven to be a successful alternative for couples with fertility challenges. Scientists take a fertility-care based approach, rather than a fertility-control approach. Surprisingly, women with several types of fertility challenges have shown significantly higher pregnancy success rates when using NaPro, in comparison to IVF. If you would like to learn more about this fascinating new technology, visit:www.NaproTechnology.com .