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How Might Government Regulations Affect Access to Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Treatment?

OC Fertility Government Reagulations and Access to IVF and Assisted Reproductive Technology

In recent months, there have been a lot of discussions involving new laws that could potentially impact the reproductive health rights of women. For many, the concern is whether this could create more restrictions on the currently available fertility treatment options and we understand the worry. 

At OC Fertility, we believe that reproductive medicine is revolutionary and a benefit to a significant population in our community. For this reason, we are staying on top of the latest and making ourselves aware of what this could mean for our practice policies and procedures and how that could impact our patients. 

At this time we don’t expect to see any changes to the way we work with our patients, but we also want to be mindful of the possibilities for the future. Below are a few countries that have seen fertility coverage restrictions created and amended over the last two decades.

Italy

Prior regulations set forth in 2004, limited the number of eggs allowed to be fertilized (by repro specialist) to three and dictated that any embryos created must be transferred prohibiting embryo cryopreservation or screening.

This significantly decreased overall outcomes per IVF cycle (necessitating the need for additional IVF rounds), and increased risks associated with multiple pregnancies by encouraging multiple embryo transfers due to the inability to preserve any embryos created. Subsequently, in recent years, these regulations have been amended to allow for improved IVF outcomes.

China

ART options are only available to heterosexual couples, excluding single women and same-sex men and women couples. 

Egg donation is limited to supernumerary oocytes from another individual undergoing IVF who is willing to donate their oocytes, and must be treated as an anonymous donor.

Elective egg donation and the use of gestational surrogacy are considered illegal.

Singapore

Outside of medical indications such as a cancer diagnosis, elective egg freezing for single women was banned.

An amendment to this regulation will go into effect in 2023 allowing egg freezing in single women between the ages of 21-35 years old BUT they can only use the eggs if/when they are legally married. This affects LGBTQ+ individuals as two women are not allowed to be legally married in Singapore.

Note: This is not a comprehensive list however a few examples of limitations other countries have placed on their citizens. 

While this list seems daunting, there is still a lot in the works in the US Supreme Court and at the State level. For anyone who places importance on reproductive choice, voting is pivotal. Here’s hoping that anyone with concerns makes their voice heard come election day.

Access to ART allows a person to have reproductive freedom of choice which many people consider a basic human right. We are working together to help create new families and help individuals and couples realize their dreams of becoming parents. We will continue to vote in favor of the reproductive rights of women and those of the LGBTQ+ community and we believe everyone deserves a chance at being a parent.

Author
Dr. Nidhee Sachdev Dr. Nidhee Sachdev Nidhee Sachdev, MD has trained among the most prestigious and diverse medical programs in the country, including fellowship training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the prestigious New York University (NYU) Langone Fertility Center in New York City where she conducted research on preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) and the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she earned the academic distinction of chief resident in obstetrics and gynecology, and trained under a top recurrent pregnancy loss expert. Dr. Sachdev is passionate about providing individualized, collaborative patient care. She started her medical career right here in Orange County, earning her Doctor of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine.

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