The widely known and respected saying coming from the Father of Medical Science, that of Hippocrates, “κάλλιο προλαμβάνειν παρά θεραπεύειν” – “prevention is better than cure”, finds its great application in the field of assisted reproduction, where women are informed regarding the limits that nature itself sets around their reproductive health. Women can make an informed decision about natural conception, or even to protect their fertility by freezing their eggs. In this way, the search for a solution from a specialist about their infertility which actually comes naturally due to their older age, is avoided.A solution to a problem that probably wouldn’t exist if only they knew….
The reasons for the increasing trend in the application of in vitro fertilization procedures are multiple. Couples for social and economic reasons today are postponing childbearing. The lack of information and the fact that they believe that conception will happen naturally at any moment during the lifetime eventually leads them to seek treatment at an older age. Indications for IVF have expanded to include ovarian failure due to advanced age and naturally unexplained infertility… These categories of cases, undergo multiple trials of IVF as patients wish to exhaust the margins, before accepting the option of egg donation.
In our days, we see social attitudes and opinions which defy biological reality. In order to achieve their personal autonomy or their wish to pursue their educational and professional goals, or even satisty their personal ambitions in general, prior to marriage and creation of a family, young women voluntarily decide to remain temporarily childless. This achievement usually takes many years, coinciding with the most fertile period of their lives. On the other hand, we should not forget that modern economic conditions…oblige women to work so that they can contribute to their home..
Undeniably, ignorance of nature’s limits to fertility prevails.We see a complete denial of biological reality as there is a mistaken belief that in our day and age medical science can replace the inability of childbearing with absolute success every time….
Our medical challenge is to inform women and couples of the fertile window and nature’s way of handling reproduction, to explain how genetic factors influence fertility with age, to disentangle advanced maternal age from the increasing trend of longevity… to offer them a family planning.