Fertility Issues in America and Beyond

by - December 22, 2017

www.womanery.mn.co

How America and other Countries Influence Fertility and the Women Who Subscribe

Photo by Marcos Moraes on Unsplash

According to Forbes.com (2014), "annually 85,000 women in the U.S. utilize IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) as a means of creating a family." As a result of infertility or the inability to conceive a child due to various medical, biological and some unknown reasons, many couples and or single women attempt to become parents through this unconventional route. IVF comes with its share of drawbacks, the major one being - not every IVF attempt is guaranteed a success. Each participant is also privy to the costs related to IVF so to not have a successful cycle is very devastating to their psychological well being and also their finances. It is estimated that the average IVF cycle costs anyway from $12,000 to $20,000, including medications, which costs on average of $3,000 to $5,000, and more if the patient chooses to freeze the embryos, which can cost another $3,000

Say what? Okay, le'ts back up a bit, what is IVF anyway? You're saying, I heard about it but I don't really understand what IVF really is. For those of you that don't understand fully what IVF is, here's a more simpler version, hopefully, it makes sense, here goes:

IVF is simply the process of fertilizing an embryo or embryos outside of the body using freshly retrieved eggs from the ovaries of a healthy (the health of a candidate does not guarantee them conception, it only enhances their chance of a successful gestational period) woman, that is then fertilized using the sperm of a healthy male in order to initialize conception. Prior to the egg retrieval, the woman undergoes a very drastic bodily experience as she is given synthetic hormones for about four to six weeks, that mimic the ones her body produces. In order to stop her natural hormones from working, the synthetic hormones are injected into the woman intramuscularly and then monitored by a Reproductive Endocrinologist who is alerted to the actual ovulation period by which mature eggs will be collected via an egg retrieval process by inserting a catheter into the woman's vagina, to access her ovaries. This procedure is done under some local anesthesia and is said to be painless. Without this process, the doctors will have no definite idea of when the woman will ovulate since her cycles were previously irregular which is a common factor among infertile couples. So this very technical and precise way of monitoring the woman's cycle gives the medical practitioner experienced in this field the upper hand and thus forges a commitment to helping couples conceive when otherwise they would not be able to conceive. 


Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash


So, now we understand a little more about what IVF is but what about the moral, spiritual and societal implications of this process? Let's see. Clearly, IVF or any other forms of fertility treatments are elective. This means that human beings, of their own free, will choose to undergo fertility treatments knowing that they are not guaranteed conception. So, is it safe to say that it is better to wait for nature, fate or God's timing to welcome the conception and birth of a child? Even some who are not churchgoers or believers in any one religion or faith has an inkling that conceiving a child is far more complex than playing the lottery. Though playing the lottery carries a very slim chance of any one person winning, the process of winning the lottery is less stressful and open to everyone. All a person has to do is buy a ticket for $1 and they have a chance at winning the jackpot. 

Conceiving a child, on the other hand, requires some thought, consideration, planning, and soul-searching. Clearly, not everyone desires children, nor should they have them. However, in this IVF driven society, most people are compelled and even coerced by meddling in-laws, nosey onlookers, and relatives to hang their hat in the race to become parents whether they really want to or not.
Most women feel like a failure if they don't become pregnant on cue, even if they have conceived a child before. Having a baby is now a fashion statement it seems, as "baby bumps" sell more clothes, baby products and even Tv shows in this modern era. So is becoming pregnant a personal or moral issue, societal issue or the new addendum to a business plan? Thus, we are forced to truly question How America and Other Countries Influence Fertility and The Women Who Subscribe. 

In foreign countries, a child is considered a blessing which gives the parents rights to houses, land, and wealth. In America, a child is a blessing for most, but also a tax write off and a next-generation taxpayer, worker, and the one carrying on a family's name and legacy. All noble things considered, having a child has more meaning, deeper than we can understand. 

So Just What Should We Take Away about Understanding Infertility Issues 


Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

We can certainly deduce that fertility and parenthood are not in God's plan for everyone. If we have read the Bible, in the Old Testament  Book of Genesis, Abraham a Patriarch and the person God (the Creator of Heaven and Earth), chooses to lead over His people, cared more about his wife than her ability to conceive. It was his wife (Sarah) that actually become so obsessed with conceiving a child on her own time schedule that she gave her own husband to her maidservant so that she would have conceived a child by him according to their custom, (See Genesis 17). Hence, we have the first known surrogate mother. Of course, that didn't end so well because the maidservant, after becoming pregnant,  taunted Sarah and thus subsequently, Sarah began to abuse her power as her Mistress. Once the child was born the maidservant had to leave along with her child when the plan backfired. It wasn't until many years later that Sarah finally conceived, noted a time way beyond her fertile years. This child was promised to them many years before, but like most humans the wife became impatient and her husband succumbed to her distress and gave in. But theologically speaking, the pressure really came from society to have children, not from God. God gives his blessing to whom He pleases and when it is purposeful. Children are a blessing from God. Not everyone conceives and bountifully at that. 

Fertility was a direct metaphor for God's blessings. As was stated earlier the pressure to bear children in the Bible times was more cultural than theological. It is not good to place the desire for children above the desire for a relationship with God. ( Exodus 20:3) In the church age, we are to realize that God desires a relationship with His people without the distractions of their own personal shrines, or idols, including their children. If we are honest, when we listen to most people, they put their own children on a pedestal. This in itself is sinful and requires repentance and a heart turned back to God. When we wait on God, the timing is always right, and the outcome is not stressful at all. We can then enjoy the blessings of our children and the provision sent to raise them according to God's purpose. 

We can assume that the women who subscribe to premature baby planning, really have a problem prioritizing what is really important. Could this be another cause of the increasing divorce rate in America and other countries? Perhaps, the issue of infertility needs greater research from the standpoint and perspective of all parties involved, not only the doctors who make a killing on each procedure but also the families and individuals who support the women and couples who decide to go this route to conceive.

Whatever the reasons for Fertility issues in America and beyond, rest assured they have a cause and it is our responsibility as Americans, and citizens of this world to understand that a child is not promised to everyone, but the blessing of a child can be life changing to the entire world without the approval and knowledge of mankind.

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Signed,

Crystal E. Melville,  M.A., CPC - Author







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