Wednesday, January 11, 2012

1 in 100 Canadian Births Conceived With IVF

This past Saturday, the Globe and Mail newspaper had an article regarding PGD - pre implantation genetic diagnosis.  I plan on writing more about that topic in the future, but in the meantime, one of the statistics that was in the article was that approximately 1% of the live births in Canada were conceived via IVF - in vitro fertilization. 

The 1% quote is pretty close.  In 2009, there were 380 863 births in Canada, and 3160 of these were via IVF based on the statistics stated below.  This is an overall rate of  0.83% of births were via IVF, which can easily be rounded up to state approximately 1%.

I know a number of people who have used IVF in order to get pregnant, but I had never considered the overall percentage before.  I'd share one of cute pictures of friends children who have been conceived by IVF, but even for those who are open about the conception, it feels a little too public to request permission to use a picture.

One in one hundred children being born are being conceived by IVF. This means that you probably know a child who was conceived in this way, but you probably just don't realize it, since infertility, like miscarriage, is considered a private issue by many Canadians.  Both are starting to be talked about a little more.

I looked up some statistics on IVF in Canada.  According to the news release from the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS), the following are statistics that have been compiled from all 28 fertility clinics across Canada.

"Live birth rates were reported for a combined total of 10,532 IVF treatment cycles (including intracytoplasmic sperm injection [ICSI]) undertaken in all 28 IVF centres in Canada in 2009. There were 3332 IVF/ICSI treatment cycles performed in 8 centres in Western Canada, 5015 cycles in 14 centres in Ontario, 1875 cycles in 5 centres in Quebec, and 310 cycles in 2 centres in Atlantic Canada.
  • The overall live birth rate was 30% per cycle started, 33% per egg retrieval procedure, and 35% per embryo transfer procedure.
  • 71% of births were singletons, 28% were twins, and 1% were triplets or more.
  • A healthy term singleton birth occurred following 16% of cycles started, 18% of cycles having egg retrieval, and 19% of cycles having embryo transfer.
  • The live birth rates per cycle started, by age of the mother, were:
  • 40% for women under 35 years old
  • 29% for women aged 35-39 years
  • 12% for women 40 years old and over.
  • The chances of a healthy term singleton baby per cycle started, by age of the mother, were:
  • 21% for women under 35 years old
  • 16% for women aged 35-39 years
  • 7% for women 40 years old and over.
  • The proportion of babies with congenital anomalies was not different from that in the population of women conceiving naturally.
  • The miscarriage rate of 17% per clinical intrauterine pregnancy is in keeping with that for natural conceptions.
Preliminary results were reported for a combined total of 11,718 IVF/ICSI treatment cycles undertaken in all 28 IVF centres in Canada in 2010:
  • The overall clinical pregnancy rate was 34% per cycle started, 37% per egg retrieval procedure, and 39% per embryo transfer procedure .
  • 75% of pregnancies were singletons, 23% were twins, and 2% were triplets or more.
  • A singleton pregnancy occurred following 23% of cycles started, 25% of cycles having egg retrieval, and 27% of cycles having embryo transfer.
  • The clinical pregnancy rates per cycle started, by age of the mother, were:
  • 43% for women under 35 years old
  • 34% for women aged 35-39 years
  • 18% for women 40 years old and over.
  • The singleton pregnancy rates per cycle started, by age of the mother, were:
  • 30% for women under 35 years old
  • 23% for women aged 35-39 years
  • 12% for women 40 years old and over.
  • Complications occurred in fewer than 2% of treatment cycles.
Live birth rates for assisted human reproduction cycles started in 2010 will be released when they become available.
The CFAS makes these data available for reference and education."

I'm sure these numbers would be even higher if it wasn't for the cost and accessibility.  The cost is much too high for many people to even be able to consider the option of IVF.  At thousands of dollars per IVF attempt, the costs are prohibitive to many.  Secondly, accessibility is a concern for those who do not live in urban areas where there is a fertility centre.

For people who live where I do, it requires a daily 1.5 to 2.5 hour commute each way to a clinic for numerous days during a cycle.  How do you balance travelling that long for appointments while also maintaining a job? 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Shanghai Girls - Book Review

One week into January, and I've read not one, but three books!  The first one I already reviewed on my most recent post.

50 Book Challenge.

#2) Shanghai Girls, by Lisa See.  I chose this book for our monthly bookclub based on the website  I was trying to figure out what to read next and typed in "What Should I Read Next" into google, not expecting anything like this site to come up!  You type in the name of a book that you liked, (I typed in "Secret Daughter"), and the site comes up with a list of books!  I had read, and enjoyed, most of the list it provided, but this was one that none of us in our bookclub had read.

This book follows the lives of two sisters who are sold into marriage by their debt ridden father from China into a life in the USA.  It talks about many political issues between the USA, Japan, and China as part of the historical context of the book, including the Nanjing Massacre, the rise of Mao in China, Angel Island in the US, and the Chinese-American issues and the way the USA treated Chinese citizens.

I have to admit, that up until a couple of years ago, I was fairly ignorant of these issues, and until this book had never heard of Angel Island.  However, two years ago, we hosted a student from Nanjing in our home for 4 months.  She would become very offended if people thought she was Japanese (we had hosted Japanese students previously, so some of our friends assumed she was from Japan as well).  I must have asked at one point why she did not like Japanese people, and she was surprised that I did not know about the Nanjing Massacres where thousands of Chinese were raped or killed by the Japanese when they overtook Nanjing. 

If you would like to read more, here is a link to an article about it on Wikipedia. 

The 60th anniversary of Mao being instated in China occurred while she was with us, and she streamed part of the celebration online to show us, including the military parade.  The politics of China are fascinating to learn about, no matter which side you of the equation you belong to.  This book will allow the reader to read a little about characters who are both for and against Mao. 

3) A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider, collection of short stories.  This book was given to me for Christmas, and is a collection of short stories, both fiction and non-fiction, written by Christian Canadian authors.  One of the authors is a friend of the person who gave me this book, and she signed her story in the book.  My favorite stories were the ones that made me cry.  Lost: One Green Scarf, a non-fiction story by Vilma Blenman, about how losing a scarf brings back the memories of losing two children to stillbirth, as well as Live Life to the Full, a non-fiction story by Evangline Inman about her son dying were my two favorites.  They hit close to home having had two children of my own die neo-natally. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Virgin Cure - Book Review

I joined the Random Reader Challenge!  The current challenge is in the genre of Historical Fiction. 

The current challenge was to pick one of the following books, read it, and write a review!

The book list was as follows:

The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak
The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich
The Salt Road by Jane Johnson
Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran
Anything in the Outlander or Lord John series by Diana Gabaldon

I had not read any of these books, and my first thought was that this would be a great way to try downloading a book from the library, which I have never done.  However, I found that all these books either had a long waiting list for digital copies, or were not available digitally from my library. So, scratch that idea.

Next, I decided to look up the actual book copy availability of The Virgin Cure, by Ami KcKay.  I chose this book because I read her previous book The Birth House last year, and absolutely loved it.  I really appreciated the amount of research that had obviously been done for this book.  The main library has six copies, but again, there is a waiting list of eight people for this book. However, what many people don't realize, is that our library has a special "7 Day Loan Quick Book" section. 

From this section, the books,
1) have a 7 day loan instead of 21 day
2) only two books can be taken from this section at a time
3) no holds can be placed on these books
4) you cannot renew books from this section
5) there is a $1.00 per day, per book late fine for these books.

Many books that have a long waiting list can be found in this section! So even though this book had a long waiting list, I was able to take it out! And reading it in 7 days is never a problem for me.  I finished this book in a 24 hour period.  I didn't time it, but I'm guessing the book took between 2 and 3 hours to read.

The Virgin Cure is a book about the life of 12 year old Moth in New York City in the year 1871. Yes, that *IS* her name!  She lives in poverty, with a Gypsy mother and absent father, in the slums of New York City.

She dreams of a better life, and her mother sells her to an upper class family where she becomes an abused employee of the household. With help, she escapes, only to go back home and find that her mother no longer lives in the home she grew up in.  She has disappeared.

Living on the streets on her own, she is taken in by a home that trains young girls in the profession of being a "whore".  She meets other young girls in this home, and is trained in how to become a part of this profession.

During her time in the home, she meets Dr. Sadie, a female doctor in a time when this was not a typical role for a woman to have.  Dr. Sadie attempts to take Moth under her wing to get her out of the home, as she realizes how young and innocent Moth is. Unfortunately, she is not very successful in her attempts.

Dr. Sadie brings Moth with her to see a girl who is suffering from syphilis, which they got as a result of being with men who were afflicted with the disease.  In this period of time, it was thought that by having intercourse with a virgin, the man would be cured of his illness.  This is where the title The Virgin Cure comes from.

I've never written a book review on here beyond whether I liked the book or not.  I don't want to give any more info away though, because then you won't get to experience the book for yourself.

I did quite enjoy this book, and once again, appreciated the amount of research Ami McKay obviously did in putting this book together.  I also enjoyed the styling, where, although the book was written and told by Moth, there are side notes and additional pages added in by Dr. Sadie that give the reader historical information.

Thanks to for putting this challenge together.  If you want more info on the challenge, or would like to try it for yourself, click on the link.

I will be adding some, if not all, of the other books on the list into my "to read" list.

First book of the year complete for the #50BookChallenge. :)