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egg donation: a journalist's personal story

Justine Griffin, a reporter for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, decided to become an egg donor. She documents her journey in a three-part feature, The Cost of Life: "This began as a way for me to honor a childhood friend who passed away and a hopeful account of my experience with the fertility industry. But it devolved into a tangle of broken promises, scary science and questionable experiences — ending with a ruptured cyst on my ovary and a fear that my future reproductive health may be in jeopardy." [more inside]
posted by flex on Jun 28, 2014 - 11 comments

Sharing the love

From the BBC. Ed Houben from the Netherlands helps couples of all kinds have the children they desire. The catch? No catch! No contracts! He helps them the good old fashioned way, and relies on good faith to protect himself against future claims for financial assistance. [more inside]
posted by St. Peepsburg on May 23, 2014 - 34 comments

Women's Work

Over Easy - "Elite education may impoverish and indebt young women and do little to get them a job, but at least it makes their eggs valuable."
Reproductive Medical Associates of New York, a fertility clinic associated with Mount Sinai Hospital, maintains separate websites for egg donors and egg buyers. The home page of the donors’ site features a large stock photograph of a young woman holding schoolbooks. Behind crossed arms the pretty brunette model is clutching what looks like but is not a copy of Lauren Berlant’s Cruel Optimism, along with a white three-ring binder. She wears a zippered velor jacket in the same shade of blue as the graphic that emerges from behind her head in an oversize font: Become an Egg Donor
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 8, 2014 - 71 comments

You, and me, and parent number three

FDA weighs risks of 3-person embryo fertilization, making "designer babies". This is explored with the goal of preventing mothers from passing on debilitating genetic diseases to their children. Daily Mail says 30 GM human babies have already been born in the United states. Half of them developed defects so the FDA stepped in.
posted by dabitch on Feb 24, 2014 - 61 comments

Wanna get pregnant? There's an app for that.

Conversely, it can be assumed the app might be useful as a sexual enhancement tool. Max Levchin, of PayPal fame, has the new app, Glow. There are, of course, with experience and a little thinking out of the box, alternate possibilities for the thing. Competition in Germany is already working on a competitive app, Clue, for women to likewise track their fertility cycle.
posted by chuckiebtoo on Feb 17, 2014 - 27 comments

Uterine Transplantation

Nine women in Sweden have successfully received transplanted wombs donated from relatives and will soon try to become pregnant. Many of the women, who were either born without uteruses or who had them removed for medical reasons, have already begun to menstruate. Some doctors question whether uterine transplantation is worth the risk to the patient, but many women say that they would be willing to accept the risks in exchange for being able to bear their own children. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Jan 13, 2014 - 43 comments

As I thought

Despite what you heard as a kid, babies really do come from a mummy's tummy. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Sep 2, 2013 - 18 comments

How long can you wait to have a baby?

Everyone knows that female fertility begins a rapid decline at thirty-five. Or does it? In the Atlantic, Jean Twenge dismantles the data and reaches a startling conclusion: many oft-cited statistics on female fertility are based on data from pre-twentieth century populations, whereas studies on contemporary populations yield very different results. Might the mid- to late-thirties be the ideal time to have a baby? Twenge suggests we consider forty as the new cut-off for pregnancy.
posted by artemisia on Jun 20, 2013 - 56 comments

The Singaporean Fairytale: You can have it all, if you choose to.

The Singaporean Fairytale is another contribution to the efforts to get Singaporeans to procreate (previously), made by undergraduate students, using reworked fairytales as a vehicle for sex and fertility ed. A lot of the content, however, is suspect: from claiming that sex will always make you feel better (especially if you're a woman) to a woman's worth being only based by their reproductive capacity.
posted by divabat on Mar 5, 2013 - 9 comments

The Kangjiashimenji Petroglyphs

The World’s Oldest Pornography. The Kangjiashimenji Petroglyphs in the Tien Shan Mountains: A Fertility Ritual Tableau.
posted by homunculus on Feb 14, 2013 - 21 comments

The American Fertility Crisis

Education, Income, and Fertility in America, and What They Mean for the Future of the Country "Since the average American woman has 2.1 children, you might think we aren't experiencing a national fertility crisis. Unlike some European countries whose futures are threatened by low birth rates, Americans, on average, produce just the right number of future workers, soldiers, and taxpayers to keep our society humming... Two new studies bring the contrasting reproductive profiles of rich and poor women into sharp relief. One, from the Guttmacher Institute, shows that the rates of unplanned pregnancies and births among poor women now dwarf the fertility rates of wealthier women, and finds that the gap between the two groups has widened significantly over the past five years. The other, by the Center for Work-Life Policy, documents rates of childlessness among corporate professional women that are higher than the childlessness rates of some European countries experiencing fertility crises."
posted by bookman117 on Jul 25, 2012 - 102 comments

"I am lying awake in bed, trying to decide whether or not to have an abortion."

"The only thing that makes my abortion decision different from anyone else’s abortion decision is that some people who are against abortion will think that my abortion is acceptable." Boing Boing's Maggie Koerth-Baker on what she's dubbed "The World's Shittiest Secret Society."
posted by Kitty Stardust on Jun 20, 2012 - 20 comments

Stag Party

The GOP’s woman problem is that it has a serious problem with women. Frank Rich on George Stephanopoulos's unanswered question, how the Republicans have shifted to being the party of misogyny since the 70s, and why Mitt Romney would be just as bad as Rick Santorum.
posted by Artw on Mar 27, 2012 - 160 comments

Things I have learnt from and about IVF

Things I have learnt from and about IVF. [more inside]
posted by escabeche on Feb 18, 2012 - 23 comments

Sarah and the Seed

Sarah and the Seed - a 5-part comic about hope and babies by Ryan A.
posted by heatherann on Jan 29, 2012 - 20 comments

Billy Donovan's Secret Sorrow

Three basketball coaches share the experience of a single type of tragedy.
posted by reenum on Jan 5, 2012 - 6 comments

Machisma

Machisma: How a mix of female empowerment and steamy soap operas helped bring down Brazil’s fertility rate and stoke its vibrant economy.
posted by the young rope-rider on Nov 1, 2011 - 25 comments

The Growing American Fertility Divide

Knocked Up & Knocked Down Why America's Widening Fertility Class Divide is a Problem [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Sep 27, 2011 - 89 comments

The Ethics of Selective Reduction

The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy. (SLNYT article on selective reduction) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 12, 2011 - 166 comments

Reproductive technology and the child's right to know

The Supreme Court of British Columbia decided that the BC Adoption Act is unconstitutional "because it treats adopted children differently from children of sperm donors. Adopted children are provided information about their biological parents, whereas the children of donors are not." [more inside]
posted by Salamandrous on Jun 28, 2011 - 60 comments

'These children don’t recognize the flags of their home countries, but they can all sing "Jesus Loves Me."'

The Evangelical Adoption Crusade [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 28, 2011 - 137 comments

An Artificial Ovary

Using a 3-D petri dish, Researchers at Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island have built a completely functional artificial human ovary that will allow doctors to harvest immature human egg cells (oocytes) and grow them into mature, ready-to-be-fertilized human eggs outside the body. (In vitro) The advance could eventually help preserve fertility for women facing chemotherapy or other medical treatments that may be destructive to ovarian folliculogenesis. Press Release. Article link. (paywall) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 29, 2010 - 24 comments

Chocolate Salty Balls (P.S. I Love You)

If plastics, or pesticides, or antidespressants have got you down, you can still make art with it, drink it or cook with it. It's been a strange week for semen. [more inside]
posted by cjorgensen on Nov 19, 2008 - 23 comments

Honey, where's the remote?

Remote control birth control. The device, an implant for men that is billed as an alternative to a vasectomy, is still in testing. That's not the only idea for new male contraceptives, though. As a 20-something male, I can say with confidence that my favorite method so far is the application of an external heat source. This blog is my new favorite.
posted by tarheelcoxn on Jul 8, 2008 - 36 comments

Birthrate Ballyhoo

Baby Bust! After 200 years of exponential population growth, and just four decades after overpopulation doomsaying began filling the bestseller lists, the First World is suddenly gripped with underpopulation hysteria. The governments of the developed world have always maintained an interest in birthrates and procreation, but the reasons why are changing, and the ensuing demographic debates about gender, race and culture are "ideologically fraught and scientifically questionable."
posted by amyms on Jun 16, 2008 - 120 comments

A Thin Blue Line

The history of the home pregnancy test kit. via the NIH History Office
posted by Rumple on Mar 9, 2008 - 6 comments

The Ethics of Infertility

The ethics of infertility: After taking fertility drug Clomid, Ryan and Brianna Morrison conceived sextuplets. Their religious beliefs steered them away from undergoing a selective reduction procedure in favor of bringing all six fetuses to term. Four of their newborns have died; the remaining two are in critical condition. This mother of multiples says that while she's grateful that insurance and Medicaid covered her million-dollar hospital bill, her "quest to have a family resulted in a significant drain on society's resources."
posted by lalex on Jul 2, 2007 - 136 comments

Beltane Fire Festival

The Beltane Fire Society Fire Festival. Happy Beltane! [Some links NSFW.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 30, 2007 - 23 comments

The Return of Patriarchy by Phillip Longman

“With the number of human beings having increased more than six-fold in the past 200 years, the modern mind simply assumes that men and women . . . will always breed enough children to grow the population . . . Yet, for more than a generation now, well-fed, healthy, peaceful populations around the world have been producing too few children to avoid population decline. . . . Throughout the broad sweep of human history, there are many examples of people, or classes of people, who chose to avoid the costs of parenthood. Indeed, falling fertility is a recurring tendency of human civilization. Why then did humans not become extinct long ago? The short answer is patriarchy.”
posted by jason's_planet on Apr 26, 2007 - 79 comments

Sperm Precursor Cells Created From Stem Cells

Scientists say they have successfully made immature sperm cells from human bone marrow samples.
posted by jason's_planet on Apr 14, 2007 - 42 comments

Happy National Day To Prevent Teen Pregnancy! The Human Race is Dying Out.

Today is the National Day To Prevent Teen Pregnancy. In the past decade, possibly no social program has been as dramatically effective as the effort to reduce teen pregnancy. Between 1990 and 2000 the U.S. teen pregnancy rate plummeted by 28 percent. This is great, except for the fact that this may be in part due to a decrease in male sperm count that will cause the human race to soon become extinct. It is also somehow related to the extinction of the taint. Previously.
posted by ND¢ on May 3, 2006 - 48 comments

Happy St. Brigid's | Candlemas | Imbolc | Groundhog Day

Celebrate the most underappreciated holiday of the year! February 1st is St. Brigid's Day or Imbolc or Candlemas. St. Brigid of Ireland, the woman who some make a good case that she should be the Patron Saint of Ireland before Patrick. Others say she was the pre-Christian fertility or fire goddess of the Celts and that the Catholic Church co-opted her day as they did with many pagan pre-Christian holidays. Whether one celebrates Candlemas as a Catholic holy day or as a one of the Pagan cross-quarter days, it is also the Festival of Lights. Regardless, I have loved February 1st and 2nd since college as Groundhog Day is the most whimsical holiday of the year, thankfully it does not have a 2 month retail buying season building up to it. Tomorrow, I shall take a photo to Puxsutawney Phil to St. Brigid's Well in Kildare to celebrate properly.
posted by msjen on Feb 1, 2006 - 11 comments

What's your genetic fitness, eh?

Breeders are winning. "Conservative, religiously minded Americans are putting far more of their genes into the future than their liberal, secular counterparts." (WaPo link, bugmenot says try fedup@mailinator.com and fedup if you don't care to register. Definition of genetic fitness here.)
posted by jfuller on Sep 6, 2004 - 77 comments

Genetic Sexual Attraction

A new brand of incest. "You're 40, happily married - and then you meet your long-lost brother and fall passionately in love. This isn't fiction; in the age of the sperm donor, it's a growing reality: 50% of reunions between siblings, or parents and offspring, separated at birth result in obsessive emotions. Last month, a former police officer was convicted of incest with his half-sister - but should we criminalise a bond hardwired into our psychology?"
posted by Hildegarde on Jan 12, 2004 - 51 comments

Calm...normal...elevated...cation...panic

PMS Alert 1.0   A system-tray reminder of where things stand. Read a simple scale of five colors to get the likelihood of mood swings. Get a real-time estimation of fertility. Pick a date off the calendar to get a quick forecast of what's to come. Store custom notes to go along with each day in the cycle. Get reminders when conditions are changing. Even get reminders of her next birthday and anniversary.
posted by gottabefunky on Nov 18, 2003 - 46 comments

Logical Coherence

Morality and Logical Coherence
A case in point.
If stem-cell research is morally questionable, the procedures used in fertility clinics are worse. You cannot logically outlaw the one and praise the other. And surely logical coherence is a measure of moral sincerity.
And failing that test would be a measure of what?
posted by nofundy on Oct 24, 2003 - 23 comments

Live Fast, Die Young, Don't Leave a Good Embryo

Phylogeny recapitulates potheads. Apparently getting stoned affects the behavior of the smoker's sperm. The little guys start out really excited but then burn out before achieving their goals. Why does this sound familiar? Would it be a good ad campaign? Ah, I can't be bothered to figure it out, pass the bong.
posted by alms on Oct 13, 2003 - 24 comments

How do you like your eggs? Easy over or fertilised?

Two women have just lost their right to use frozen embryos from IVF treatment while they were in previous relationships because UK law states that both parties must give consent before embryos can be emplanted.

The women are claiming it's a breach of thier human rights. The men claim that they shouldn't be forced to have children. The London Fertility Centre claims double standards because they would have the right if it was naturally conceived. But what's your opinon?
posted by twine42 on Oct 1, 2003 - 60 comments

Who's You Daddy? Who's Your OTHER Daddy?

"Jody Has Two Daddies" -- The literal remix. Scientists are making egg cells now, raising the (eventual) possibility of one guy providing the genetic material to raise a crop of eggs, while the other guy provides the crop of sperm (no extra work necessary). Just add one surrogate mother and there you have it: Yet another fundamentalist nightmare, in cute infant "Adam and Steve" form.
posted by jscalzi on May 2, 2003 - 27 comments

A Special Kind of Poverty

A Special Kind of Poverty This great article appeared in yesterday's Washington Post Sunday Magazine. Its subject: the trials and tribulations of the poor seeking treatment for their infertility. I don't think I have to list the whole raft of issues this subject raises. As touching as it is thought-provoking.
posted by tommyspoon on Apr 21, 2003 - 77 comments

Flocks of sperm turning to the left indicates possible memory.

Flocks of sperm turning to the left indicates possible memory. Does this mean every sperm really is sacred?
posted by srboisvert on Aug 30, 2002 - 17 comments

Attack of the Clones (really).

Attack of the Clones (really). The Italian fertility expert (...) said on Wednesday three women were pregnant with clones. In this interview published in the French daily Le Monde, he also says they will be born between December 2002 and January 2003. What good can we make out of this ?
posted by XiBe on May 24, 2002 - 9 comments

The Talk of the Book World Still Can't Sell

The Talk of the Book World Still Can't Sell (NY Times link) About two months ago, a new book about women putting careers before babies, and risking going childless, got a lot of publicity and was expected to be a huge seller. Wrong. Did it scare women? Did it sadden women? Was the coverage unfair (most of it highlighted the 'infertility after late 30's' angle, instead of balancing/choosing between career and family)? Or, did the massive publicity subvert sales by summing up the story and findings?
posted by msacheson on May 20, 2002 - 27 comments

Artificial womb.

Artificial womb. Goodbye women, hello complex ethical debates. ... artificial wombs raise the prospect that gay couples could give 'birth' to their own children. 'This would no doubt horrify right-wingers, while the implications for abortion law might well please them,' he added.
posted by geoff. on Feb 10, 2002 - 27 comments

Doesn't anyone in this country

Doesn't anyone in this country know what condoms are for anymore? For crying out loud. (Yet Another Unexpected Baby...)
posted by Steven Den Beste on Jan 20, 2001 - 9 comments

Two men may be able to have a child.

Two men may be able to have a child. Together. Without a woman. This is a pretty interesting article, and to tell the truth, I can't wait for it to happen. But I do have one problem with it...What would Dr. Laura think? Via Drudge
posted by Doug on Sep 25, 2000 - 22 comments

a newly released u.n. population study

a newly released u.n. population study suggests that because the birth rates in wealthy countries is low and declining, the worker-retired ratio will not be able to support current social programs. "The report found that Japan would need 10 million immigrants every year for the next 50 years to maintain the current working-age to retirement-age ratio. Without migration, figures show it would be necessary to raise the retirement age to 77 to maintain the ratio."
posted by palegirl on Mar 21, 2000 - 8 comments

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