Marcia Cross, IVF and Egg donation

Dr. Randy Morris

Marcia Cross, IVF and Egg donation

Dr. Randy Morris

Desperate Housewives star Marcia Cross is in the news again. Marcia recently gave an interview to Health Magazine detailing her struggles with infertility. The blogosphere responded with hundreds of posts -- so why can't even one of them get the story right?

I have appeared on Fox News in the Morning and stated that Marcia Cross was the most honest celebrity in Hollywood. The reason? She admits that the method she used to achieve pregnancy was egg donation. It is a hard cold fact that women have much more difficulty achieving pregnancy as they age. The success rates for fertility treatments also decrease with age. This is true even with "high tech" treatments such as IVF .

It is deceptive and harmful when celebrities in their late 40s and 50s conceive with egg donation and then put out a press release stating that they achieved pregnancy with their own eggs. Why is this harmful? Because it misleads millions of women into thinking that their chances in a similar situation are better than they really are. It causes those women to spend money and go through procedures that essentially have no real chance at producing a live born baby.

As a fertility specialist, I can't tell you how many times I have had to sit with a patient and explain that Elizabeth Edwards did not use her own eggs to get pregnant. Edwards gave birth to her daughter at age 48 and her son at age 50. She has publicly stated that she "used fertility treatments" and "took hormone shots" in order to have her children.

In 2007, a story was widely reported in the news that a psychologist from New Jersey delivered twins at age 60. According to the new mom, she underwent in-vitro fertilization "at a center that specializes in older women".

Now it may seem obvious to you that a 50 or 60 year did not use her own eggs to achieve pregnancy, but for those who are not medically "savvy", they look upon these cases as proof that having a child is just a matter of determination and that medical science has overcome the issues of aging and fertility .

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, nationwide there are almost no pregnancies from IVF in women over age 45 who use their own eggs. The pregnancy rates in women over age 42 using their own eggs is in the low single digits.

So kudos to you Marcia Cross for being honest. As for you bloggers who keep writing that she got pregnant with IVF, GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!

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