Understanding Risks with Fertility Treatments

Today I heard a news story about a new concern for couples who have used egg and sperm donors. The concern is that some donors have donated so much, therefore creating many biological half-siblings who do not know one another, that there is an ever increasing potential for future instances of unintentional incest.

I must say that hearing this literally stopped me in my tracks–this was a risk that had never even crossed my mind. And while utilizing donors is not something my husband and I have chosen to pursue, I know many women who have taken this route.

Being faced with fertility challenges is unlike anything else a woman may go through. There are many options, often presented to us with such confidence in their safety and such encouragement to hand over thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands, of dollars, we must sift between.

Hearing this report today made me wonder if there are more consequences than any doctor ever led us to believe. If perhaps science hasn’t skipped over society, moving too quickly so that we are only beginning to catch up.

When women face fertility challenges the core of our biological drive gets triggered. We want this illusive piece (literally) of our bodies more than anything we may have ever wanted–it can be a drive that transcends our body, our mind, and our spirit.

Yet perhaps we need to press the pause button and begin asking not just 21 questions, but one million and twenty one questions. We are our only and best advocate, not just for ourselves, but for each other.

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