... and it's gonna be uterus week! For everyone, all the time! Yay! Isn't it interesting that excessive fertility can cause so much trouble?
Meanwhile, the Times magazine let Pamela Paul speculate recklessly, in her article on pregnancy and cancer, on what will happen to all us IVFers in the end:
Only 150 years ago, girls got their first period at 15 or 16 and went through menopause in their late 30s and 40s. Today, girls begin puberty as early as 9, and menopause generally occurs around 50. We have also increasingly begun tinkering with our bodies, pushing the limits of our fecundity through an array of assisted reproductive technologies. The period in which women’s bodies go through a series of tremendous hormonal shifts is extending ever longer, increasing both our fertile years — and our chances of getting breast cancer.
Is it me, or do you hear a note of assumption there that we just shouldn't be pushing those limits? Because, you know, IVF is bad, so it's probably bad for you too?
Doctors are also exploring the question of whether infertility treatment may raise women’s risk of cancer, but again, answers are elusive. Some studies show an increase (mostly of ovarian cancer) among women treated for infertility with Clomid; others show a decrease; still others, an association. It may be that the underlying causes of infertility increase the risk of cancer, not the treatment. Furthermore, infertility treatments vary widely. And it is particularly difficult to study the effects of in vitro fertilization in America because nobody tracks women who receive treatment. A woman is hardly likely to call her infertility clinic to report, “By the way, I got cancer 10 years after taking fertility drugs.”
"Particularly hard?" And just how did they track down the Clomid patients? Or is it that the author just thinks that, you know, IVF patients should be tracked, because IVF is such a big deal?
Grumble unspoken assumptions grumble who you callin' hubristic grumble. Yes, these are tiny pieces of what's, overall, a fascinating article. But I felt like both the author's mentions of fertility treatment inadvertently betray what a lot of people think of us---and I was surprised that they made it through the editors. Because there's just no evidence there.