Assisted reproductive technology can reverse the “aged biological clock”


The fertilization of human oocytes outside of the body, the culturing of the embryo(s) in the laboratory, and the subsequent transfer of embryo(s) to the uterus has resulted in the birth of tens of thousands of children worldwide. Registries in the US and abroad reflect an explosion both in the number of programs offering ART and in the utilization of these technologies since the 1980s. The growth in utilization has led to increased governmental oversight in the US. The Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act of 1992 mandates clinic-specific reporting of success rates to the Secretary of Health and Human Services through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The law also requires the Secretary to annually publish and distribute to the states and public the clinic-specific success rates. The law also requires IVF laboratory oversight and certification. Implementation of this law has led to a joint and productive effort between the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART) and the CDC. 

Delaying motherhood should be a free choice made in full knowledge of all the consequences, but modern women have alarming misconceptions about their own reproductive systems and the effectiveness of assisted reproductive technologies. Doctors and health professionals must begin to discuss fertility preservation with their patients and make sure that young women truly understand all their options. Preventing age-related infertility is the responsibility not only of doctors and medical practitioners but also of society at large. Social, economic, and personal pressures are causing women to decide to conceive later in life, yet those who choose to delay motherhood are stigmatized as being selfish and unconcerned about starting a family. This stigma must be banished, and age-related infertility should be faced as a medical problem.

Media Contact:
Eliza Grace
Managing Editor
Journal of Clinical Research and Bioethics
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