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For your eyes only: bio-behavioural and psycho-social research priorities.

Authors
  • van den Akker, Olga B A
Type
Published Article
Journal
Human fertility (Cambridge, England)
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2013
Volume
16
Issue
1
Pages
89–93
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3109/14647273.2013.779391
PMID: 23548096
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Infertility is experienced as a deeply personal and private condition, which has been investigated across disciplines, from psycho-social to bio-behavioural (van den Akker, 2012). This is undoubtedly, in part, because the interactions between the biological-behavioural axis and psychological-social axis have been linked to aetiological and treatment factors and to the consequences of infertility. Recent data from the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA, 2012) show that medically assisted reproduction (MAR) for infertility is continuing to increase, with 46,000 women in the UK seeking treatment in 2010 alone. Infertility is therefore considered to be a public health concern. However, prevention and ethical treatment require individual and collective responsibility. The currently identified public health concerns are compounded by evidence that genetic factors are linked to infertility, with new generations of children conceived through IVF/ICSI potentially affected by inherited damaged DNA (Bonde et al., 2008) that would otherwise not have found its way into the gene pool of new generations. Since treatment takes place at one point in time, and consideration of the moral rights and wrongs of the consequences of some treatments takes place at another, usually much later on within the social contexts in which they coexist with others, there is a discontinuity between the initial treatment and the future consequences of these treatments. In this paper I propose a simple prevention outcome consequences (POC) model for future comprehensive research priorities with substantial policy and practice implications. The time has come to face the new challenges with all eyes wide open.

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