Friends don’t let friends do IVF

If you read the local newspapers such as the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Daily News or the Metro you may have seen this ad - a pair of adorable baby feet caressed by hands taking the shape of a heart with big bold letters at the top that announce Have you been told you need IVF?

Under the picture the text reads: Chances are you may qualify for one of our 8 IVF clinical research trials. Eligible patients can receive IVF at a discounted cost and/ or free IVF medications.

Let's take a closer look at this procedure and the medical industry that has developed to address the needs of infertile and subfertile couples.

In-Vitro Fertilization is just one of many procedures that doctors refer to as assistive reproductive technology (ART). The approach in the IVF clinic is to stimulate the ovaries so that they develop multiple follicles. They aspirate the ova (eggs) from the follicles and harvest them. Here’s a little known fact: this procedure can lead to a condition known as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome that is sometimes fatal to women with a number of recorded deaths in the US.

The ova are then combined with the sperm in some culture medium outside of the body. After a period of time for growth, the nascent life is transferred back into the woman’s uterus.

All of this manipulating of early life is not without its consequences.

The physician reference guide Up-to-Date © urges health care providers to inform patients that pregnancies conceived by ART are associated with increased risks of multiple gestations, congenital anomalies, preterm delivery, low birth weight (LBW), and the complications associated with these outcomes. It further warns that even for singleton ART pregnancies, the relative risk of common pregnancy complications such as fetal growth restriction, preeclampsia, prematurity and perinatal mortality is increased.

Dr. Hilgers, the developer of NaProTechnology refers to ART as artificial reproductive technology. According to Hilgers, most physicians treating infertility do not address a woman’s underlying hormonal problems, often miss the diagnoses of endometriosis and never test for problems such as low grade infection of the uterus. Without an adequate diagnosis, women who might become pregnant with IVF will go on to suffer a miscarriage. This is, of course, after they paid thousands of dollars in out of pocket fees to the infertility specialist.

In the United States today, more than 5 million children have been conceived with IVF, which accounts for more than 1 percent of all babies born. What is underreported are the number of children who were miscarried or cryopreserved (frozen) for use in future treatment cycles.  According to Dr. Hilgers, there are approximately 6 babies lost in the attempt for every successful IVF pregnancy. These children are destroyed when selective reduction (abortion) is strongly encouraged for any multiples pregnancy greater than twins and when their parents are encouraged to abort “poor quality” babies. Preimplantation genetics diagnosis further encourages discarding babies who are “undesirable” and allows for gender selection bias.

In 2013 an OP-ED piece in the New York Times written by Miriam Zoll and Pamela Tsigdinos stated that the ART industry was selling to customers who were at their wit’s end. “Once inside the surreal world of reproductive medicine, there is no obvious off-ramp; you keep at it as long as your bank account, health insurance or sanity holds out.”

Zoll and Tsigdinos were both former infertility patients who admitted that they were desperate and vulnerable. They believe that women contemplating ART have a right to know about the health risks, ethical concerns, broken marriages and, for many, deep depression often associated with failed treatments. As they stated, women and couples “need objective, independent advice from health care and mental health professionals focused on the person’s well-being instead of the profit.”

While the world of IVF is a market with the potential to deliver grief and a sense of failure – those who enter the world of NaProTechnology are offered real hope . This hope is one for family building – whether by natural means or through adoption. There is never any regret – and couples will not deplete their life savings. As one Creighton model user’s husband shared with us “I told that (infertility) doctor I want to HAVE a baby, not MAKE a baby”. Having a family the way God, nature or evolution intended is a win – win. Indeed, friends don’t let their friends do IVF. Tell your friends to check out today!

For more information:

  1. Effectiveness Summary:  Natural Procreative (NaPro) Technology vs. Artificial Reproductive Technologies
  2. NaPro vs. IVF.  Website of Mystical Rose Obstetrics and Gynecology, Fallbrook California. 
  3. The Ruth Institute developed a brochure entitled Children and Donor Conception and Assisted Reproduction. Preview a copy online at