Sunday, April 15, 2007

Let's set the record straight!

The April 23, 2007 issue of People has a cover story about Marcia Cross and her two infant girls - "The Desparate Housewives star opens up about fertility, her difficult pregnancy, and her 'yummy' baby girls."

While Cross admitted to undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF), it was treated very casually: all that was said about her IVF was "Let's stay put and if we can't give this baby a chance."

Here are facts about IVF that women should know:

Five years ago, IVF cost $10,000 to $15,000 per cycle - I do not know the cost today. Certainly, money is no object for Cross as an actress on a top-rated TV show. For the ordinary woman, meeting these expenses would means taking out loans or taking out a second mortgage on their home. Nothing was said about - not even in the sidebar - about the time that processes such as egg harvesting requires. For the working woman, it might require that she take leave from her job or even force her to quit her job.

Cross is lucky that she conceived on her first try. If I remember correctly, Brooke Shields underwent 5 cycles before she conceived her first daughter. Other women go bankrupt in repeated tries to realize their dream of having a baby.

Fertility clinics are required by law to report pregnancy success rates to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); to find reports for the years 1995-2004, visit Assisted Reproductive Technology from the CDC.

In fairness to People, the article did mention that Cross suffered from pre-eclampsia, or pregnancy-induced hypertension, a condition that afflicts many women, especially those who are pregnant past 40. Articles about celebrities (not only Cross, but also Jane Seymour and Geena Davis) having children at advanced ages betray women into thinking that they can postpone having children to well into their 40s.

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