Making pregnancy convenient
No, this is not about abortion, even though the title may suggest it is. It’s about women who are bypassing sex in the UK in favor of what they are calling "instant pregnancies":
Women are increasingly seeking inappropriate IVF treatment because they do not have the time or inclination for a sex life and want to "diarise" their busy lives.
Wealthy career women in their 30s and early 40s, some of whom have given up regular sex altogether, are turning to "medicalised conception" – despite being fertile and long before they have exhausted the possibility of a natural conception.
They are prepared to pay thousands of pounds for private IVF treatments – even though they have unpleasant and potentially harmful side effects – because they believe it offers them the best chance of "instant" pregnancy.
Many fertility experts believe that IVF offers women the best chance of pregnancy – a one in three chance of success or better in one cycle if the woman is under 35, whereas natural conception has no better than a one in four chance for a woman of the same age even if a couple have an active sex life.
An active sex life aimed at pregnancy is considered to be unprotected sex at least once every three days.
Each year about 43,000 women receive IVF treatment, most of them privately. The cost of a single treatment – and often several are needed – is at least £2,500.
Government guidelines on when women should receive treatment (on the NHS) say IVF should be given only to those aged between 23 and 39 who have an identified cause for the fertility problem or who have suffered unexplained fertility problems for at least three years."
Michael Dooley, a gynaecologist, obstetrician and fertility expert, said that in the past five years he has seen a 20 per cent increase in the number of patients seeking "inappropriate or premature" IVF treatment.
"Many of these couples are simply not having sex or not having enough sex," he said. "Conception has become medicalised. It’s too clinical. There has been a trend away from having sex and loving relationships towards medicalised conception."
Now isn’t that something? That last sentence was especially telling. Let’s read on:
Emma Cannon, who runs the fertility programme at Westover House, said: "I have patients who diary sex in. When the they don’t fall pregnant they panic and think they need IVF.
"People want everything now. If they can’t have a baby now, they want IVF. They think it’s no different from putting your name down for a handbag. Some people are horrified by the idea that they have to have sex two to three times a week. About 10 per cent of people I see don’t have time to have sex. It’s usually when you have two professionals who are based in the city and are very busy.
Too busy to conceive?? WTH? Have our lives become so busy that we can’t take the time to engage in the very act (hopefully out of love) it takes to conceive a baby? What will these parents say to their kids when they grow up? "Honey, I didn’t have the time to make love to your father in order to conceive you, so I went and had an IVF instead"? I mean, the ability to have a child is one of the most wonderful gifts God gave women, and it’s gotten so danged clinical now, with women in certain parts of the world opting for ‘quicker’ (note: not medically neceessary) pregnancies because they don’t have time to conceive the old fashioned way? Furthermore, if they don’t have the time to conceive, how they hell will they make time to raise a child? Does conception now have to be similar to making a dinner reservation or scheduling a get together with friends? Ok, I know I’m asking a lot of rhetorical questions but this story just boggles the mind. Some things we *should* take the time for, and conceiving a child out of love is one of them (note: this doesn’t apply to those who have a medical necessity where they have to visit fertility clinics or those who have given up hope of finding the man of their dreams and have gone to a sperm bank).
If at all possible, children need to be conceived out of love, the natural way. When couples are too busy to do even that and instead opt for the quick and what I would call the clinically cold route, I question the desire to even have a child to begin with.
Monday AM Update: Kobayashi Maru weighs in:
The article limits itself to couples, but I know of more and more singles for whom this has also become just another lifestyle option – like botox or a pedicure. That’s sad.