Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Getting the preconception message

Hooray - a voice of reason at last ... Australian couples are too quick to regard IVF as a right rather than consider how weight loss, fewer cigarettes or more sex could improve their chances of having a baby, a leading fertility expert said. Reproductive specialist Rob Norman will tell a national fertility conference in Hobart today that while assisted reproduction is the only option for some couples, more than 50 per cent of those who seek it are overlooking simple lifestyle changes that could help lead to a natural pregnancy. "People assume that if they can't have a baby then they're going to have IVF, without even considering that if they smoke or if they're overweight, they're massively limiting their chance of getting pregnant," University of Adelaide Research Centre for Reproductive Health director Professor Norman said. "Some couples who seek help are only having sex once a month, but IVF is not a substitute for intercourse. "There are a lot of people showing up with these health problems but they say: 'I'm not here for a health message, I'm here to get a baby', and that's not right." More couples are seeking IVF as they encounter fertility problems sparked by older age and lifestyle factors that affect the quality of the egg and sperm. The number of IVF babies increased from 4500 in 2000 to 6200 in 2004 and is predicted to reach 8000 this year.


Anonymous said...

In support of doing what comes naturally, I had two grandmothers and one aunty who all conceived their fourth child in their forties ... naturally! They lived a moderate lifestyle, ate three meals a day and led active lives looking after the family, and kept the man of the house happy, thus the fourth child. Hmmm … maybe that’s the key to creating babies; keep it simple and loving. It’s not rocket science, yet with IVF it is neither simple nor loving. We are talking about having a baby, right? Then lifestyle choices and an evaluation of your relationship should be considered because after the baby comes, lifestyle and the relationship are what you bring to share with this new life. Did someone mention responsible parenting somewhere? I guess that really does start at preconception. I’ve read Jan’s first book ‘The Natural Way to Better Babies’ and it is a must read for all new parents … then decide if IVF would be your first choice?

Unknown said...

Thanks Louise for your comments on Better Babies - responsible parenting really does start there! Too many couples seem to embark on pregnancy as if it is merely another 'run on the board.' They've got the career, the house, the cars, they've travelled and a baby is the next box to be ticked. Then they're prepared to hand its conception to medical technology and care to strangers. But having said that, I know there is a swing back to doing things differently. Last night I saw a movie that makes me very optimistic that things are changing - if you can -get to see "The Business of Being Born" www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com