IVF technology is under legislative scanner now after overturning of Roe case by federal court

IVF technology
IVF technology Credit | Getty images

United States: Even though the Supreme Court of Alabama gave judgment in February 2024, which strictly limits the use of basic assisted reproductive techniques, such as in vitro fertilization, the pre-dawn of Roe v. Wade cancellation brought certain issues back to the agenda of the legislators.

Know more about IVF technology

In vitro fertilization is a method that is provided to people who have reproductive disorders to enhance their success rate in pregnancy. This involves the egg that was fertilized outside the body in a laboratory setting, and then the endometrial receptivity is evaluated for embryo transfer, as reported by CBS News.

The technology of IVF was initially devised to deal with the problem of blocked fallopian tubes, but today, it is also employed for treatments of other diseases, among them male infertility issues where the reason for fertility failure is not found.

Also, for the LGBTQ and single-parent communities, IVF and other reproductive technologies could allow them to build on their families.

How does IVF technology work?

Visual Representation

Generally, while performing IVF, a patient receives hormones to trigger the ovaries to produce eggs. The retrieval of eggs is performed by the health professional by using an ultrasound and a thin needle.

As CBS News reported, when a health care provider obtains the eggs with the help of ultrasound and a thin needle in the lab, they can either allow the sperm to interact with the egg or use a thin needle to inject the sperm into the egg to fertilize it. The selection of a specific type of in vitro procedure that a patient receives is chosen by the physician on a case-by-case basis together with the patient.

Developmental history of IVF

The early stages of IVF began in the 1930s with the birth of the first live fetuses that were harvested from rabbits and mice.

This discovery eventually advanced to the birth of the first “test-tube baby” in 1978. The physiologist Robert Edwards received the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research work in in vitro fertilization.

The technology has sped up rapidly since the first live human birth from IVF, which was the second birth in the world. The possibility that cryopreservation of human eggs and embryonic cells opens up a window to pursue pregnancy even at a late age has now become widely established, as reported by CBS News.

Genetic screening of cells, which has a link to developing embryos, is a resource for the identification of hereditary diseases and anomalies.

Who can currently use IVF?

The use of IVF has been becoming more and more widespread since the first time it was introduced. In 2015, over 2 percent of all infants in the US were conceived using IVF, and the public’s overall support for it is also high.

Though 10 percent of women in the U.S. have used some type of fertility service to accomplish pregnancy, this can be as simple as fertility counseling or physicians prescribing medication to boost ovulation. Fertility testing, surgical procedures, or IVF are others.

Infertility counts up with age, so women aged over 35 years typically account for more cases of these services as compared to other women in their youth.

The women in the States who undergo the most fertility care are usually citizens and insured, which usually corresponds with higher educational or income levels compared to those who receive the least fertility care.

Geographical diversities also impact on IVF access should be taken into consideration. In Massachusetts, 2021, more than 5 percent of all deliveries were carried out through IVF, yet this ratio decreased to the minimum of around 1% in New Mexico, Arkansas, and Mississippi, as CBS News reported.

The amount of IVF service or insurance coverage for IVF procedures could be much better or poorer in one state but not in another, which could be the reason for the observed difference in use.

But, though few state laws require land insurers to offer this service, there are still many arguing that this should be a mandatory rule. The probability of the government to afford healthcare for infertility is rare.