Ethics in Medicine

Hazards of Hormones for Infertility

Kristen Sparrow • July 28, 2012

I’m having to repost some blog posts because they were lost in the recent snafu’s with my website server.  The site was down for at least three days last week, and to reboot had to go to a previous version.  So if this post isn’t what you remembered, it’s because I’ve redone it.
Anyway, this is an article looking at the problems with high dose hormones in fertility treatments.  We’ve discussed acupuncture for fertility here and here, and here.   But, it is certainly worthwhile for women to try acupuncture first before hormones for fertility!!
High Doses of Hormones Faulted in Fertility Care

“Pregnancy rates are lower, and more cycles of IVF are necessary” with low-dose IVF, said Dr. Glenn L. Schattman, a fertility doctor at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and president of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology.
But some critics are urging the industry to reconsider.
“Mild stimulation is clearly much healthier for women,” said Francine Coeytaux, founder of the Pacific Institute for Women’s Health, a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles. “The reason hyper-stimulation happened is because these fertility clinics compete against each other by posting their success rates.”
In high-dose IVF, a woman is first given injections of a drug, often Lupron, to suppress her ovaries, causing temporary menopausal symptoms. Then the ovaries are stimulated with hormones, such as follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, in order to produce more eggs. The duration of stimulation is longer, and the hormone dose significantly higher, than in the low-dose programs common overseas.
Women normally generate one egg per cycle, but high-dose stimulation can help women produce 20 to 30 eggs, or even more. By contrast, women receiving mild, low-dose IVF produce 8 to 10 eggs. The ovaries are not suppressed at the outset, and there is no manipulation of the patient’s cycle…