- Essay on Infertility: Causes & Treatment
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- Book Review Essay: On Infertility (Barnes, Bell, Wilson)
In fact, it has the opposite effect. Rather, they defined infertility as the inability to conceive a pregnancy even with medical assistance, a finding that Barnes considers in the second half of the book. These men did not identify as infertile because they still had options available from a range of reproductive technologies.
Essay on Infertility: Causes & Treatment
If these male treatments failed, then IVF and other female treatments still remained as options. Bell and Wilson further undermine this notion. Both books describe women who cannot and will not pursue fertility treatments. While there are overlapping aims and analyses between the two books—indeed, they tread much of the same ground in their opening chapters—they also display the distinct approaches and concerns of the disciplines of their authors: Bell, a sociologist, explores how race and class shape infertility in the United States and Wilson, an anthropologist, examines the making of meanings, roles, and opportunities as women without children.
Misconception is based on 58 interviews with U. However, it also raises questions about what defines voluntary and involuntary childlessness as well as planned or unplanned and intended or unintended pregnancy. Drawing on the framework of stratified reproduction, Bell compares the experiences of white and black women of low socioeconomic status SES with those of white women of high SES.
Explaining that an initial aim of her study had been to also include black women of high SES, she suggests the continuing marginalization of women of color in conversations about infertility might have discouraged them from participating in the research.
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Infertile women, as portrayed in U. The lower SES women also did not have the same access to information that higher SES women shared in their formal and informal networks. The lower SES women assumed that unprotected intercourse would result naturally in pregnancy. In general, they were unaware of the various mechanisms that higher SES women used to plan their pregnancies, such as monitoring their basal body temperatures to time intercourse to coincide with peak fertility.
In general, women of lower SES have children at younger ages than women of higher SES, but Bell finds also that they were slower to consider whether infertility as a medical condition might explain their childlessness. Wait a minute. Both Bell and Wilson describe women who find themselves caught between what feminist scholars have called the motherhood mandate and intensive mothering. Worse, they are not even trying to become mothers. Thus, she points out that most of the scholarship on infertility is based on research that represents a minority perspective.
Instead, Wilson finds that there are multiple pathways to what we commonly call involuntary childlessness or infertility. Half of them also identified themselves as aunties or godmothers. Taking seriously how women understand their life stories allows for the acknowledgment of ambivalence, which is arguably underappreciated in both the lived experiences of and the scholarship on infertility and childlessness.
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It also enables us to see the hold on U. These women both articulated an idealized vision of mothers as patient, loving, forgiving, selfless, and comforting—and emphasized the responsibility, effort, and time required for mothering children.
Book Review Essay: On Infertility (Barnes, Bell, Wilson)
From their perspective, women who failed to uphold such standards were mothers in name only, or nominal mothers. Many shared a disdain and even hostility for teen mothers that is expressed openly in U. Two-thirds of the women who identified as aunties and godmothers described nurturing, enjoying, providing for, and loving unconditionally their nieces, nephews, and godchildren. Attributing their ability to do so directly to not having their own children, these women revalue their childlessness as even better mothering.
All three works shed light on the overlooked and unseen experiences of infertility. Both Bell and Wilson will be accessible even for advanced undergraduate students in sociology, anthropology, and gender studies.
With ICSI, doctors inject sperm directly into the egg. Stein, whose name has been changed to protect her privacy, agreed to try it.
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Her twins are now 16, but while 17 years have gone by since that procedure, the efficacy of ICSI is still unclear. It may simply have been because she did IVF. And yet the procedure is being used more and more, even when male infertility is not the issue. In the Middle East, the figure is actually percent, the report said. Worse, some actually cause harm.
They promise to increase the chance of conceiving. For patients who desperately want a child, money is no object.
Now, fertility associations in the U. The HFEA has actually rated these add-ons, indicating which procedures are effective and safe.
These procedures include ICSI used when male infertility is not at issue, as well as a procedure called endometrial scratching, where the uterus is scratched, not unlike what would happen with a biopsy, to stimulate the local uterine immune system. And then for some treatments, there is conflicting evidence, warranting further research.
These include artificial egg activation by calcium ionophore, elective freezing in all cycles, embryo glue, time-lapse imaging and pre-implantation genetic testing for abnormal chromosomes on day 5. The more competition, the more add-ons. Hopefully the more reputable institutions will only offer add-ons for free in the context of a randomized clinical trial. Likewise, in the U.