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Health Risks Associated With Breast Implants

Posted by Melanie Powell on
My Blog
Health Risks Associated With Breast Implants

In the US and around the world there are two main types of breast implants used by women for breast augmentation. This is the silicone gel and sterile saline implants. Both the two implants are made of silicone but the composition inside the implant is what differs among individuals’ choices.  The saline implants, for instance, are filled with sterile or saline water, whereas the silicone teardrop breast implant is filled with silicone gel.

Silicone breast implants were first introduced to help in breast reconstruction before there were approved by the FDA to help in breast augmentation. During its initial phases in the 1980s, silicone breast implants became popular among many women. The most popular implant was the silicone gel implant, which was more preferred than the silicone sterile water. However, with its popularity came with adverse health risks. Silicone gel breast implant is not the only implant associated with adverse health risk, but also the sterile saline silicone implant.

Immunological disorders

For one, research linked the effects of silicone gel breast implant rupture to immunological disorders such as lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid, and other immunological conditions. Some of the symptoms of the above disease were majorly observed when one had the silicone implants and once they were removed the symptoms were no longer observed. 

Lymphoma and other rare conditions

Additionally, breast implants are linked to anaplastic large cell lymphoma which is a rare lymphoma type. This health risk was first brought to notice by the FDA in 2011, and subsequently few women who had undergone breast implant surgery have reported to have contracted the disease.

Moreover, in a study conducted by FDA among 100,000 individuals between years 2007-2010, it was revealed that women with silicone breast implants had a much higher risk of contracting rare diseases with extreme adverse outcomes such as rheumatoid arthritis, sjogren’s syndrome, and scleroderma. According to the research, the chance of women with implants acquiring any of these types of condition was eight times higher than women without breast implants. 

Surgical Complications

Women with silicone gel implants have a higher chance of having adverse surgical complications compared to women with silicone sterile saline implants. This is because the silicone gel implant contributes to capsular contracture which is a process in which there is scarring in the implant. Similarly, conditions such as implant rupturing, and accumulations of fluids in the breast is likely to be experienced. Additionally, since breast implants are not a lifetime treatment there are several surgical procedures one must undergo in case of any complications observed such as:

  • Draining hematoma this is carried out by inserting a tube and needle to drain excess blood collected in the breast.
  • Cysts removal in which a minor surgery must be carried out to remove a lump in the breast.
  • In case an implant was wrongly placed there will be need for a surgical incision to move the implant and place it rightfully.

Irreversibility

Once breast implants have been inserted in the breast tissue its effects are irreversible. This is because; the silicone implants alter the shape and position of the breast tissue.  These effects are irreversible especially when one opts to remove the implants, the breast will be wrinkled or dimpled and the initial shape of your breast may not be achieved.

Other Conditions

There are other physical and psychological problems associated with breast implants. These conditions are rare and may be because of other factors accumulating. Such conditions include: 

  • Skin and breast cancer.
  • Breast implants may cause stillbirth.
  • Alcoholism, drug abuse, and suicidal thoughts due to psychological problems.
  • Difficulties in breastfeeding since the implants prevent breast tissues from producing milk.

Breast implants are known to help in enhancing the aesthetic of an individual, especially a woman. When carried out properly, one is assured of improved physical appearance that improves self-esteem. However, when the surgery goes wrong, there are numerous complications that can be experienced which are life-threatening.

 

What are the costs involved with IVF?

Posted by Melanie Powell on
My Blog
What are the costs involved with IVF?

The overall average cost for one IVF cycle is around $12,000. For basic IVF, you can see expenses rising to as much as $15,000 or as low as the $10,000 price point. It is never usually lower than that. These approximate prices do not include the cost of medication, which can reach $3,000 each cycle.

A study conducted on a couple at a fertility clinic, tracking all of their expenses over the period of 18 months, saw them pay $19,234 for the IVF itself, the medication and monitoring. Each additional cycle after that was an average of $6,955. This study shows that if a couple went through three different cycles, they would be looking at just over $33,000 out of their pockets. Most insurance companies won’t cover your IVF, but it may cover certain expenses. For example, they may be happy to cover your monitoring or your medication, which can help to decrease the price a little for you. Even if you assume you cannot afford IVF, check it out before giving up as there are many options out there for people. You may need to research the various offerings clinics have, such as IVF sex selection, if this interests you.

Get a quote from your clinic

If your clinic gives you a quote of $13,000 and you are able to find another clinic that can do the treatment for a better price of $9,000, should you then choose the cheaper company? It is important to compare price and quality to ensure you are getting the best value for your money. However, you should first consider a few things, such as if it is the full quote or only some of it. Consider if the more expensive clinic is a better quality one. You cannot compare the numbers if one clinic is giving you an estimate for the total price of the process, while one is just giving you the quote for the IVF treatment without monitoring or medication.

When getting your quotes, you need to ask what the price includes, such as:

  • Pre-IVF testing and consultations
  • Mock embryo transfer
  • Ultrasound and blood work
  • Pregnancy testing including the hCG beta blood work
  • Your fertility medications
  • Cryopreservative of other embryos
  • Storage feeds for the frozen embryos
  • IVF gender selection facilities

What ways can I pay?

Most fertility clinics will offer a payment agreement and plan that will help make the treatment more affordable. There are several options available, so check what you qualify for with your local clinic.

It is important to check the price comparison, but you also need to think about their success rates. If the IVF clinic has low success rates, it may be why they are cheaper. In this case, you may need multiple cycles which can add up to the initial price of the clinic with higher success rates.

There are refund programs available when you are paying a set-fee, which usually sits around the $20,000 to $30,000 range. The clinic will refund part of the cost you have paid out if you fail to get pregnant after a certain amount of IVF treatments. This will vary from clinic to clinic, and not all couples will qualify.

There are advantages and disadvantages in the refund programs, such as they won’t refund you for medications. You will need to determine which refund program suits you best. Keep in mind if you are unlikely to get pregnant quickly due to a medical condition, you may not be accepted for the refund program.

If you participate in IVF for voluntary gender selection, for reasons such as you already have a child of a particular sex, you still must consider that you may not get pregnant on the first IVF treatment. For this reason, you still must weigh up IVF gender selection costs. 

Facts on IVF Gender Selection

Posted by Melanie Powell on
My Blog
Facts on IVF Gender Selection

Gender selection has been a controversial decision for many. Assumptions build-up, but it’s better to know the facts first before having a say on IVF Gender Selection. Defined as an attempt to control the sex of the offspring to achieve a desired one, let’s take a look at the other facts for consideration:

The goal is a healthy pregnancy and not a specific gender

Most people think it’s just out of whim how gender selection is performed. A doctor from the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine’s cleared in an article published by parents.com. That in his clinic, IVF gender selection is not offered initially, until a genetic disorder is linked to a specific gender, then it is considered.

For example, if having a girl had a higher percentage of being born with fatal diseases or conditions considering the parents’ chromosomal match, gender selection could be presented as an option. He also adds that just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean you should. Parents who go extensive lengths to bear a child are assisted in having one benevolently, assuring the best health they could possess once conceived.

Gender selection is achieved most naturally

There is no chemical alteration done concerning baby gender selection. While the gender of an embryo depends on the chromosomes carried by the sperm, it goes through sperm sorting where the weight of the gender carrying chromosome is considered. Theoretically, an ‘X’ chromosome seems to have another leg compared to the ‘Y’ chromosome from under the microscope (hence the name). Therefore, the ‘X’ chromosome is notably more substantial than the ‘Y’ chromosome. As the preferred gender gets sorted out, a concentrated amount of it is used to perform IVF or ‘in vitro fertilisation’ of the egg.

However, this is not preferred as much as Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). This is a process where an IVF-fertilised egg’s chromosomes are studied carefully by a geneticist as it matures to a 6-8 cell size. While extracting a single cell does not harm the embryo, it is also analysed of the gender. Once acceptable genetics and desired sex become compatible, the fertilised egg is then placed back into the mother’s womb.

Gender selection is not for everybody

Parents who have no fertility issues, to begin with, are not considered eligible for gender selection. Because it is unethical to be just shopping whatever gender it is that you decide to have, it is deemed morally inappropriate too to practice this according to a particular committee. If the new reproductive technologies will be used to avoid giving birth to children who tend to suffer from X-linked genetic disorders, then that’s the time the committee acknowledges it ethically appropriate.

The total cost of the whole procedure is not a joke

Not all clinics offer this service since gender selection is an extended help only to those who can’t conceive a child naturally. The IVF procedure with embryonic screening alone costs somewhere from US$20,000 to US$25,000 per attempt. Requesting for a gender reveal, which is considered an extra cost, is somewhere around US$1,000 to US$5,000. According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, 61,000 babies were conceived by IVF in 2012, which accounts for only 1.5% of the 3.9 million births tallied in the US that year. That’s only the number you may call ‘privileged’ in a monetary sense.

Gender selection is not something new

There were Greek and Roman stories that listed a lot of sex determination claiming that it affects the gender of offspring reproduced. There is tying of left and right testicles, heat and cold, and sperm crossing. During the 18th century, a French book called The Art of Boys has mentioned an extreme method of ensuring children of only one gender. Its author suggested that by removing a testicle or ovary, children of the opposite sex may be guaranteed. Meaning, if the father will remove one testicle, all children will be female. And if the mother would remove one ovary, then the family will be guaranteed only of boys. Though all of these stories were not proven right, the topic of gender already had lingered and perhaps given time for research and tests.