Friday, 10 August 2012

Women brave IVF complications for children

Women continue to use In Vitro Fertisilation to conceive, despite increasing evidence of dangerous side effects.

After returning home to London from a holiday with her new husband in 2004, Lee Cowden was hit with crippling chest pains. It turned out to be a heart attack that had been caused by a high dose of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) drugs.

Facing ovarian problems, the 33-year-old had taken the drugs to improve her chances of conceiving a child, but has become one of many women who are facing serious side effects from IVF.

Each year, more than 3.7 million babies are born across the world with the help of fertility treatments, but experts are increasingly wary of side effects associated with the treatment.

"I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) when I was 15 and was told at that point that I would need to have fertility treatment to have a family," Cowden, a music teacher, told Al Jazeera. "I married at 25 and straight away started to undergo the fertility treatment."   

Louise Brown, the world's first "test tube baby", was born in July 1978, and the process has since helped many couples conceive. Robert Edwards, who is credited with developing IVF, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work. 

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