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Thread: "The IVF revolution is money badly spent"

  1. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willow View Post
    It's absolute crapola - what about those of us with secondary infertility? I was quite capable of naturally conceiving my own very healthy, very fit babies (and it appears ironically that I still am!) until 'one of those things' caused me to lose most of an ovary and blocked my left tube - HOW has that had any impact on the genetics of my children??!! As my FS once put it, we had a road block and needed to get around it.

    This sort of ignorance makes my blood boil!!!

    Leasha - not going to shoot you down babe but I must admit I am surprised by your post.
    Willow, Seems she has an opinion on secondary infertility! Shock horror!!
    She is not empathetic to women suffering secondary infertility: ?If having a child doesn?t mitigate the loss of not having more, it should.?
    I found that from the link here http://bellybelly.com.au/forums/long...ml#post1722283 - sara69, post #93.



    After I read that, I think she doesn't deserve any more of my precious time. Funnily enough, my first reaction, from reading everyone else's reactions and thoughts, was that she sounded like she had wanted children (or more of them, since I now know she has a daughter) and had become a bitter person because of her journey? I wonder, if her partner/husband had wanted a child, and had they had to go the IVF path, would she now be writing a book singing the praises of science, IVF, and the women who dared to be part of the exciting IVF world as it took it's first steps?

    Nic
    Last edited by nic; March 27th, 2009 at 09:52 AM. Reason: removing ticker...sorry..

  2. #20

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    She is not empathetic to women suffering secondary infertility: ?If having a child doesn?t mitigate the loss of not having more, it should.?
    Well she obviously hasn't ever experienced either secondary infertility or miscarriage has she? Otherwise she might have some idea of how isolating it can be.

    I wouldn't give this sad, ignorant woman the satisfaction of knowing that she has gotten up my nose to be quite frank! She clearly has her own baggage from whatever has happened to her in the past, but as far as I'm concerned unless she has experienced it she should keep her opinions to herself

    Also, I find it interesting that in her article she has chosen not to contrast the stats for premature births and perinatal mortality in IVF pregnancies with that of the average population. Maybe because there is not really a significant difference? Or maybe because the IVF group is a much smaller group than the average population and therefore shouldn't be compared?? After all its pretty easy to twist any stats to say what you want them to say when you are a journo

  3. #21

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    They didn't publish my comments either - I also wrote a letter to the editor. I do hope all you lovely ladies have written letters to Parliament. It's great that we have the boards to discuss these topics - but they won't influence the decision makers. Our letters and stories are what matters in terms of fighting any changes they might make for IVF funding.

  4. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by megsmum View Post
    Well she obviously hasn't ever experienced either secondary infertility or miscarriage has she? Otherwise she might have some idea of how isolating it can be.
    So very true, I still sometimes feel very conscious of the fact that we are a secondary infertile couple... now we have another narrow minded, know it all person out there with their judgement in print.

  5. #23

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    Its just sensationalist rubbish, designed to cause "controversy" and sell papers, getting a nice bit of publicity along the way.

  6. #24

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    I completely agree that Jill Singer's article was extremely poorly-written and insensitive, but I wonder if her argument (which, imo, is a valid one) got lost amongst the warped statistics and comparisons to Darwin's theories?

    Clementine Ford wrote a similar blog for Adelaide Now a couple of months back, covering the taxpayer-funded IVF scheme as well as gay/lesbian parenting and surrogacy, which also stirred up some heated debate, but I feel she got her point across more adequately (although, granted, with some insensitive comments that comes purely from having no first-hand experience with the struggles of LTAC - it's not her fault she hasn't 'walked a mile', so to speak, one simply cannot put themselves in the place of another, kwim?). And that point was not that IVF should be banned or that government subsidisation should be taken away from prospective parents - merely that there should be some limit to how much taxpayer money is put into IVF, or that there must come a point where a couple say to themselves, 'Okay, we've gone through x amount of cycles at a cost of x amount of dollars, and still nothing - maybe we should pursue other options'. As in, goverment subsidised IVF is great, it's a wonderful option for infertile couples and by all means should be available in order to help less well-off couples achieve their dream, but there should be a cut-off point where the government says, 'Okay, we've helped pay for x amount of cycles and you've had no luck, from here on in you pay for it yourselves because your chances of success are so slim', kwim??

    I think Jill Singer's references to 'flawed gene pools' etc were very misguided, and if she didn't stick them in there purely to stir up some controversy, she should have left them out completely and stuck to a *real* argument over the cost of IVF.

  7. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by GothMum View Post
    I completely agree that Jill Singer's article was extremely poorly-written and insensitive, but I wonder if her argument (which, imo, is a valid one) got lost amongst the warped statistics and comparisons to Darwin's theories?

    Clementine Ford wrote a similar blog for Adelaide Now a couple of months back, covering the taxpayer-funded IVF scheme as well as gay/lesbian parenting and surrogacy, which also stirred up some heated debate, but I feel she got her point across more adequately (although, granted, with some insensitive comments that comes purely from having no first-hand experience with the struggles of LTAC - it's not her fault she hasn't 'walked a mile', so to speak, one simply cannot put themselves in the place of another, kwim?). And that point was not that IVF should be banned or that government subsidisation should be taken away from prospective parents - merely that there should be some limit to how much taxpayer money is put into IVF, or that there must come a point where a couple say to themselves, 'Okay, we've gone through x amount of cycles at a cost of x amount of dollars, and still nothing - maybe we should pursue other options'. As in, goverment subsidised IVF is great, it's a wonderful option for infertile couples and by all means should be available in order to help less well-off couples achieve their dream, but there should be a cut-off point where the government says, 'Okay, we've helped pay for x amount of cycles and you've had no luck, from here on in you pay for it yourselves because your chances of success are so slim', kwim??

    I think Jill Singer's references to 'flawed gene pools' etc were very misguided, and if she didn't stick them in there purely to stir up some controversy, she should have left them out completely and stuck to a *real* argument over the cost of IVF.
    GM - should this same argument not then be applied to other "incurable" medical conditions? sorry, you can only have X many rounds of chemo or radiation - after that, your chances of success are slim?

    the reality of LTAC is something i wish i didn't understand to the degree that i do, if it takes the average "normal" couple up to 12 months to conceive, for those of us who fail to ovulate, we need to have up to 12 cycles of assisted conception to even come close to the same statistical outcome. you then have to take into account that the lab conditions, no matter how well equipped, are not the same as the uterus, so you add more chance of failure. there is the experimentation that goes with getting your body to respond correctly...


    do i PERSONALLY believe there should be a limited number of cycles over a lifetime - no. do i PERSONALLY believe there should be a limit to infertlity treatment based on chances of success - HELL NO - too many of my friends that have been on this journey for years have had babies in the past few months after up to 10 years of trying. do i PERSONALLY believe that perhaps there needs to be a limit to the number of cycles PER YEAR - yes. i don't care how many years it takes, how many stim cycles, how many FET's it takes - the only person who can say enough is enough is the person going through it - but i believe that limiting it to 6 attempts per year (so having a rest cycle between attempts) is reasonable.

    no other medical treatment is limited based on statistical chances of success - why should fertility treatment be?

  8. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by GothMum View Post
    I completely agree that Jill Singer's article was extremely poorly-written and insensitive, but I wonder if her argument (which, imo, is a valid one) got lost amongst the warped statistics and comparisons to Darwin's theories?

    Clementine Ford wrote a similar blog for Adelaide Now a couple of months back, covering the taxpayer-funded IVF scheme as well as gay/lesbian parenting and surrogacy, which also stirred up some heated debate, but I feel she got her point across more adequately (although, granted, with some insensitive comments that comes purely from having no first-hand experience with the struggles of LTAC - it's not her fault she hasn't 'walked a mile', so to speak, one simply cannot put themselves in the place of another, kwim?). And that point was not that IVF should be banned or that government subsidisation should be taken away from prospective parents - merely that there should be some limit to how much taxpayer money is put into IVF, or that there must come a point where a couple say to themselves, 'Okay, we've gone through x amount of cycles at a cost of x amount of dollars, and still nothing - maybe we should pursue other options'. As in, goverment subsidised IVF is great, it's a wonderful option for infertile couples and by all means should be available in order to help less well-off couples achieve their dream, but there should be a cut-off point where the government says, 'Okay, we've helped pay for x amount of cycles and you've had no luck, from here on in you pay for it yourselves because your chances of success are so slim', kwim??

    I think Jill Singer's references to 'flawed gene pools' etc were very misguided, and if she didn't stick them in there purely to stir up some controversy, she should have left them out completely and stuck to a *real* argument over the cost of IVF.
    I don't believe couples should be given a cut off point. This is their only chance at becoming parents, and you don't always get the right mix of everything first, second or even third time round. Drugs (before and after EPU) are tweaked or changed, not everyone reacts the same way to a drug. Couples could reach their cut off point before they have even worked out what works for them and their bodies! Being told that their chances for conception after a certain point are slim, is just wrong. Like I said, not everyone is lucky to have IVF work first go.

    I don't beleve limiting tax payer money to IVF is the right option either. IVFers are paying their taxes too! As if it isn't emotional and worrying enough! Suggesting that limits be put in place would just place even more pressure on infertile couples to conceive!

    Discriminating against couples who are well off as opposed to the not well off ones is wrong as well. Like I said, there are so many factors when going through IVF. We had a 400klm round trip to see our FS for appointments and ultrasounds AND to pick up my drugs. We then had a return trip of almost 2000 klms for our egg pick up and transfer - as well as fuel, food, accomodation costs, all on top of our IVF cycle, specialist fees and drugs for the first 3 months of my pregnancy!

    Telling couples that there are limits to their chances of conception is wrong, I'm sure fertile people wouldn't appreciate being told that they are limited to a certain number of children, or people like me who a secondary infertility couples, that because they've had one, that should be enough!

    Sushee, I couldn't agree more...my DS is the fittest, he swam to my little eggie faster than his little swimmer siblings, even if it was in a little dish.

  9. #27

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    BG said most adequately what I would have said also.

    Eg. my sister took 13 months to fall pregnant naturally. As a perfectly fertile woman at 33 years of age, she took 13 cycles to become pregannt.

    It took 13 embryos for me to fall pregnant at 37 years of age. That took 8 cycles of IVF and 13 months as well. So by rights, I didn't actually take any longer than my sister did.

    Why is it then that I should be expected to only have 3 IVF cycles all up (which is what the govt was thinking of limiting IVF to at one stage) before I stop receiving financial assistance for my medical condition? Are my chances of falling really slimmer? Because the equivelant is like telling a perfectly fertile woman that if she doesn't fall pregnant within 3 months, her chances are obviously slim to fall pregnant at all. And as we all know, that's not true.

    If a fertile woman can have sex as many times as she likes to try to conceive, I have issues with infertile women being told they're only allowed so many chances before they get no further assistance - and a ridiculously small amount of chances as well! IVF is already prohibitively expensive with assistance, and the majority of IVFers will spend masses of money in order to concieve. To make it harder for them based on an 'arbitrary' decision based on a flawed argument regarding their 'chances of success' seems like a poor excuse to try to save money at their expense.

  10. #28

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    Sushee/BG/Nic - all so very well said. I have to add my bit on women over 40 - I just got a BFP today (my 4th cycle in approx 7 months) - very, very early days and I have a higher chance of miscarriage than younger women, but it is possible & I refuse to give up hope. Yes, it is harder when you are older, but not impossible and for all the reasons given above, there's no reason why a woman over 40 shouldn't be entitled to try if there is still a chance. Would you deny chemo to a 70 year old because they've already had 70 years? what if the odds of recover were low but still there? of course not, that 70 year old should be entitled to full treatment. This hopefully will be our first child - my DH & I did not meet until we were in our late 30's - but we worked and paid taxes all those years!

    You will all be interested in the below email which I've just received from ACCESS on this article - ladies, you all have such good points - maybe worth voicing them to others (I sent my letter to the editor) and not just our bellybelly world which for the most part is so very supportive:
    ______________
    FROM ACCESS:

    Thanks to all who have written emails and letters and done radio or newspaper interviews. They are having a significant impact as this story shows.

    The IVF revolution is money badly spent | Herald Sun


    Please leave a message with your reaction to an article by Jill Singer:

    Readers' Comments: IVF revolution money badly spent - Herald Sun

    People have already started writing in with their comments but we need 100s of responses so they realise that her cynical judgements are misguided at best. Ms Singer did not speak to anyone at Access before writing this. She ridicules us for calling ourselves 'consumers'.
    That's what we are; consumers accessing a medical service. What is her problem?!

    She claims to be sensitive then proceeds to offer such harsh, misguided judgements about us.

    We pay taxes too and IVF for many people is MORE successful than natural conception. She clearly has not thought about the added costs to the medical system for the anxiety and distress if we were not able to access medical care for the medical condition of infertility.

    Let's join together with our combined voices to let her know what we think today!

    And if you would like to send a letter to the Herald Sun's editor, the link is Send a letter to the editor

  11. #29

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    Just wanted to pop in and say whilst I have no experience in IVF, I strongly disagree with this women's argument. If it wasnt for the miracle of IVF, my best friend would not be enjoying her first pregnancy. Seeing her and her DH overwhelmingly excited about the impending arrival of their first child is the most amazing thing and I am so happy that she has this opportunity. To deny a couple of starting their own family is cruel and to tell you the truth, can cause deep depression...isnt it better to be spending money on creating life rather than fixing shattered ones????

    I have to say though, I dont think we can compare cancer/dying patients to ivf patients, conceiving is not a matter of life or death...but it is a matter of quality of life.

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    Issy02 - I see your point.

    What I think would be a great outcome is for the government to push the IVF clinics to "up their game". In my humble non-medical opinion, I do not think the Aus clinics apply global best practices to IVF. I think that if they were pushed to try some of the newer protocols being used around the world, and ensured their labs were up to the latest & greatest, and were forced to report greater detail on statistics to a central repository that allowed for side-by-side comparison, it would be better for everyone. I think it would improve IVF success rates, thus lowering the cost to IVF-ers and the government, while meeting the goal of helping as many people as possible get pregnant and make informed choices about which clinic to go to.

  13. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by buliej View Post
    Issy02 - I see your point.

    What I think would be a great outcome is for the government to push the IVF clinics to "up their game". In my humble non-medical opinion, I do not think the Aus clinics apply global best practices to IVF. I think that if they were pushed to try some of the newer protocols being used around the world, and ensured their labs were up to the latest & greatest, and were forced to report greater detail on statistics to a central repository that allowed for side-by-side comparison, it would be better for everyone. I think it would improve IVF success rates, thus lowering the cost to IVF-ers and the government, while meeting the goal of helping as many people as possible get pregnant and make informed choices about which clinic to go to.
    Couldn't have said it better myself!

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    I do think it is very simplistic to say that IVF has x% chance of success and use it to set an arbitrary limit to the number of cycles that is covered by Medicare. Every couple is individual and has a different chance of success, some problems are easily overcome by IVF and others are more of a challenge. Who would assess each couple's chances of success?

    But you are so very right Julie, with continuing taxpayer subsidies there is very little incentive for IVF clinics to lift their game.

    Off topic I know, but congrats on the BFP by the way Many sticky vibes coming your way

  15. #33

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    * sigh *

    OK, so the whole fight is just becoming so damn hard - and to throw articles like this one in there just really isn't helping those if us unfortunate enough to be travelling this road......

    I read through the article yesterday & thought I would let it go, but after feeling the need to write to the government concerning the safety net, I decided to write to the newspaper in question - and also forward a copy of my letter to Ms Singer herself - and have also decided to include it in my letters to everyone else concerning the safety net

    I've posted it here - bear with me, its long... but Ms Singer gave me much to oppose ...

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    My letter is in reference to your article posted March 26, 2009 - written by Jill Singer, 'The IVF Revolution Is Money Well Spent'.

    Before I begin, I must admit I was in two minds as to whether to bother writing to express my thoughts... it seems, as an infertile member of this country, our fight to prove our cause has in many cases just become too monotonous & tiresome, however there are always a few articles that dig a little deeper than some, and this one happens to be one of them.

    I have had to refrain from writing straight away, as I did not wish to come across as 'just another bitter woman yet to achieve her much longed for dream of a baby', and previous to this evening, I fear I would've come across that way out of anger - however, let us look at the article now that I've had time to digest its content.

    I understand that you have papers to sell - and in doing so, you need articles to bring out emotive, diverse opinions, however I wonder could you not have set your standards any lower assigning Ms Singer to this article in question?

    I think it stands without need for explanation that the manner in which she has chosen to express her opinions could not be any less sympathetic, empathetic or heartless toward every infertile couple in this country, past, present & future.

    The whole tone of her writing reads as a woman who has never had the misfortune of walking down this lonely road - however, even with some consideration as to her ignorance in this matter, her writing is appalling.

    To begin an article with 'I have enormous sympathy for people experiencing infertility, BUT....' shows an immediate contradiction to show the very least.

    Her further use of phrases such as ' fruitless cycles' is just heartwrenching & unnecessary - and I wonder if Ms Singer checks her dictionary regularly enough to question as to whether she uses the right words to convey her arguments?

    "Fruitless" - useless, unproductive, without results or success...

    As any person who has ever had to go through an IVF cycle would know, NO cycle is fruitless - with every cycle, regardless of a baby as an end result, EVERY cycle allows our doctors to become steps closer to allowing us to achieve the end result - every cycle tells us more about what we need to do to gain the end result.

    EVERY cycle is another step in the right direction - hardly the definition of useless, unproductive, or without results or success... in fact, many would argue each cycle to be quite the opposite....

    In the beginning, I was angry & hurt & passionate about Ms Singers article - now after calming down, however, I am just envious - how wonderful a life must be for a person who has never known this road.

    The ignorance of Ms Singer in this topic - and every other person of her opinion - must just be spectacular.

    They say 'Ignorance Is Bliss', do they not?

    How fortunate for Ms Singer to not have had the misfortune of having to travel down this heartwrenching road - you would perhaps like to think, though, that someone so fortunate would be able to find it within to show some compassion, or at least a little empathy to those of us not so blessed in this area.

    There are many points in Ms Singers article that I could argue - the mere fact that she states ' (ICSI) involves injecting the flawed sperm of an infertile man into a womans egg'.... how generalised, and how absolutely INACCURATE a description such an uneducated woman has given to an audience of equally uneducated readers concerning this topic.

    My husband & I are due to start our 5th IVF cycle very soon after suffering secondary infertility from giving birth to my son 11 years ago, AND with the help of ICSI. However, my husband has absolutely no infertility issues at all.

    According to our specialist, he is even fortunate enough to have 'over active' sperm - lucky us......

    Her further points as to 'sons concieved through ICSI inherit their fathers infertility' just simply IS NOT TRUE.... this procedure has yet to be around long enough to have produced 'sons' of reproductive age!

    I wonder how many 8-9yr old boys out there are having issues with infertility whilst trying to conceive? Especially a decent enough number of them for any researchers to be able to 'publish their findings'?

    Ms Singer, though, we must give some credit to - she has managed to write this article at an angle that is going to outrage & affect every Australian fortunate enough to be ignorant to assisted conception - this article was written directed to the Australian reader in fear as to our economic future & stability... of course she was going to get noticed.

    As a generalisation, she asks as to why 'We (the taxpayers) are subsidising the creation through technological intervention'.

    For the same reason that 'We the taxpayers' pay for funding of government schools when we may not have children that attend, or the funding of various medical programs when we may not be ill, or for the funding of any other matter that our government sets... because we are Australians, and this is what we do.

    'No other country is as generous as Australia when it comes to pouring taxpayers dollars into the lucrative baby making industry'

    No other country is as generous or as lucky as Australia for many various other examples concerning the taxpayer, but this argument could go on to express numerous different examples, and would just become exhausting.

    There is no need to list each example - we live in Australia, we live in the lucky country - fortunate enough are we that we can take the help that is available to us in circumstances where we need.

    I understand that in our current economic state, we as Australians, are nervous & unsettled about our future.

    I also appreciate that fellow Australians as to whom IVF and other forms of assisted conception does not affect would find it hard to understand why the cover from medicare is an absolute neccessity for those of us who ARE affected.

    I also appreciate that every Australian is entilited to his/her opinion as to what Australian taxpayers should fund.

    My concern & disappointment comes from the heartless, insensitive & disregarding matter in which some fellow Australians such as Ms Singer choose to voice their opinion.

    We are ALL suffering the effects of the global economic crisis - alongside each of our own personal crisis.

    For some of us, its cancer, for some of us, its numerous other health issues, and for some of us its infertilty.

    For those of us going through the journey of IVF it is just as much of a challenge as the next person and their personal struggles.

    As Australians, we should respect those less fortunate than ourselves in various aspects - and show empathy in the very least.

    Ms Singers article has only done more harm for those of us undergoing fertility treatment within this country - for we weren't isolated enough with this struggle, now I am certain there are many infertile couples after reading this article who may feel indebted to the country for taking advantage of the opportunities made available to us.

    I personally must question Ms Singers integrity or lack thereof.

    For publishing her article, I must also question the integrity of your newspaper - and for the level of esteem as to which you hold both for the newspaper itself, and for your readers. The level set in this particular article is extremely low - that in itself you should find disappointing.

    Regards,
    Last edited by Hollybolly; April 30th, 2009 at 09:01 AM.

  16. #34

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    fantastically written letter Holly!

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    Oh I agree BG, that is an awesome letter. You said everything I would say Holly, only better.

  18. #36

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    Fantastic letter Holly...obviously the newspaper has the wrong person writing for them

    Nic

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