IVF to have a second+ child: new possibilities or new obstacles?

Olga G. Isupova, National Research University Higher School of Economics
Nina E. Rusanova, Russian Academy of Sciences

Subfertile women have various concerns in the matter of having more children, though lack of reproductive desire is not one of them. But economic reasons, as well as the issues of psychological adjustment, reproductive health and age/time remaining to grow children up, often overweight the desire. In October 2013 a survey of women in several IVF clinics of Moscow was initiated. Only those who wanted to have second+ children became respondents. By the beginning of November 2013, analysis of 296 medical cases has shown that there were 45 women in the studied sample (15,2% of all female IVF patients). They constitute one sixth of all IVF patients; typically, are 30-40 years old, they are married or cohabiting, and their existing children are older than 3 years. Differently from a situation with reproductive intention to have a first child, none single woman was present among IVF patients, wanting a 2+ birth. The majority of these women are housewives, but some are career oriented. The latter fact may be caused by the fact that birth of second+ IVF child is to be financed by patients themselves, so only the well-off can afford the treatment, i. e., couples where either a man, or woman, or both, have sufficient income. Possible future development of ART in Russia might be affected by conservative backlash of values which some state ideologists try to coerce onto people. Accordingly, there are suggestions to forbid surrogacy, coupled with questioning ‘quality’ of all IVF children. This might also have negative effect on numbers of ART-conceived children in Russia in near future. Still, the interests of infertile people and of doctors in this situation coincide, and help to form opposition to this possible development.

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Presented in Session 112: Assisted reproductive technology: challenges in low fertility settings