CYBERSPACE, October 19, 2005 ( – In vitro fertilization is coming under increasing criticism as unsafe and unreliable and likely to end with genetic abnormalities. Now, some IVF scientists are saying that the high rates of genetic problems associated with IVF can be traced to defects in the ova used for the creation of embryonic children.

The BBC reports that ova used for the creation of embryos in the lab often carry genetic defects and more IVF specialists are recommending that all ova be screened. Currently, the guidelines that regulate IVF in Britain call for screening of ova in women over 35 for abnormal numbers of chromosomes.

Three new studies have shown that on average 42% of ova generated for IVF carry some genetic abnormalities that would prevent a child created from them being brought to term. Some experts are suggesting that the drugs used to stimulate “hyperovulation” are to blame. One doctor, Peter Nagy of Reproductive Biology Associates in Atlanta said the findings were like a “rewriting” of the textbooks. “These defects should not be present in such a high proportion of patients,” he said.

The discovery, predictably, is prompting calls for more use of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, (PGD) a process that examines a single cell of an early-term embryo for abnormal genes. The process can sometimes directly cause the death of the embryo, but more importantly, is regularly used as a “search and destroy” method of eliminating children deemed genetically “unfit.”

Dr Jeffrey Nelson of the Huntingdon Reproductive Center in California urged the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to relax its already notoriously lenient guidelines and allow more “screening” for embryos. He said,“I think there’s an argument that can be made to say they should be more lenient.”

Increasingly IVF is being revealed as a dangerous and unreliable method of addressing the fertility crisis. Many women are convinced that they can indefinitely postpone childbearing and simply pay for a child when they are ready. Most people are not aware that the IVF process has at best only a 25% success rate, that the treatments are painful and often dangerous and that they result in the deaths of the great majority of children created by them.Â

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