IVF pioneer Robert Edwards dies aged 87

An outstanding scientist and Nobel Prize winner, the IVF technology founder Robert Edwards has died yesterday in the UK at the age of 87.

"With great sadness the family of the scientists reported that Nobel Laureate Sir Robert, a great scientist and a pioneer of artificial insemination techniques, has quietly passed away in his sleep," - said the representative of Cambridge University.

In 1977, Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe have jointly developed a method thanks to which millions of infertile couples around the world finally got a chance to become happy parents. In 1978 in the Oldham Hospital the first "test-tube" child Louise Brown was born.


A new tale about IVF children

Oh, how I "love" our journalists! Not all of them, of course, but only those who are irresponsible about their work and don’t bother to check the information they are writing about. The other day I came across an article with a terrible title "Artificial insemination is considered to be a risk factor."

The author argues that women who spend more than one year to conceive a child through IVF, risk of having a child with neurological problems. "This explains the fact that children conceived through in vitro fertilization procedure are generally more susceptible to multiple diseases associated with the development of the brain and nervous system. It’s noteworthy that the use of in vitro fertilization procedure, and not the age of the parents is crucial "- happily reports our journalist, referring to the Dutch scientists from the University of Groningen.


The life of childless people is shorter

Danish doctors have found out that childless couples live less than those who have children.

The experts have analyzed records of births and deaths, information about in vitro fertilization and referrals to psychiatrists. They have also turned to the history of labor registry offices in order to look at the dynamics of income and other economic indicators for the period from 1994 to 2008. It turned out that having children may increase the expectancy and quality of life. In particular, the risk of premature death from cardio-vascular diseases, cancer, or even an accident for childless women and men is four times higher than for those who have children. Psychologists believe that the stress, felt by couples desperate to have a baby, is in the picture of such «trend».


The weight of IVF children

There is a point of view that the IVF procedure affects the weight of a child (someone says that the weight increases, others – that the weight is reduced). Is this true? Is there any reliable information?

Strictly speaking, the question itself is the answer. If someone claims that the weight of IVF children is lower than that of children conceived in a traditional way, while others say that it’s higher, then, in my opinion, you can make a quite clear conclusion – there is no reliable statistics on this point. If any significant deviation in weight existed - the answer to that question would have been straightforward.


Armenian surrogate mothers bear children for the Israelis

Not long ago, the chairman of the Public Council of Armenia Vazgen Manukyan said that most of the Armenian surrogate mothers give birth at the order of the Israelis, because, I quote: "there the surrogacy is forbidden," and also noted that the law banning surrogacy in Armenia "hangs thick in the air."

I’m very sorry, but I have to disappoint Mr. Manukyan - surrogacy in Israel has been  permitted since 1996 already when the country adopted the corresponding law. I fully admit that a certain percentage of Israelis suffering from infertility, is really turning to surrogate mothers from Armenia, but the reasons are quite different from what Mr. Manukyan has said.

First, it may be due to the lower cost of the programs. For comparison - the services of a surrogate mother from Armenia will cost a family about 20-30 thousand dollars, while in Israel, the price ranges from 50 to 70 thousand. The difference is obvious.