January 04, 2009
70 Year Old Indian Woman Has IVF Baby, Wants Another

The world's fertility rate will bounce back due to advances in biotechnology (and natural selection).

Rajo Devi, 70, had a baby girl, Naveen Lohan, weighing 3lb 4oz, by caesarean section on Nov 28. "Now," she said, "I want a boy."

Rajo and her husband Bala Ram, 72, who live on a farm in the tiny village of Badhu Patti in Haryana, India, are hoping controversial IVF doctor Anurag Bishnoi will help them have a son.

Within 30 years (and probably sooner) I predict stem cell therapies will rejuvenate reproductive organs well enough to allow most women to have babies in their 40s, 50s, and even beyond. Cell manipulation techniques with gene therapies will enable the creation of a woman's own egg rather than use donor eggs.

If a poor farmer in India can afford IVF treatment the prospects for world population control grow dimmer.

Her husband mortgaged all his crop of rice and bamboo for next year and took out high interest loans to pay for the 2,000 IVF treatment.

IVF pregnancy initiation rates continue to grow (note some of these pregnancies abort).

And the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society says the pregnancy rate for in vitro fertilization was 35 per cent in 2007, up nine percentage points since 1999, when the group first started collecting these statistics.

On the bright side, in the next 10 years we are going to find out which genetic alleles contribute to differences in intelligence. So at least some of the IVF babies of the future will be a lot smarter. We are going to need lots of smarts to solve some of the problems caused by overpopulation.

Not all the problems caused by overpopulation will get solved though. You might want to burn up some of the dwindling supplies of fossil fuels to go visit and see animals in the wild that'll go extinct in a few decades. Ecotourism ahead of extinctions and habitat loss is now the rage.

From the tropics to the ice fields, doom is big business. Quark Expeditions, a leader in arctic travel, doubled capacity for its 2008 season of trips to the northern and southernmost reaches of the planet. Travel agents report clients are increasingly requesting trips to see the melting glaciers of Patagonia, the threatened coral of the Great Barrier Reef, and the eroding atolls of the Maldives, Mr. Shapiro said.

The most notable long term pattern in human evolution has been humanity's growing capability to dominate all ecosystems. The rest of nature is not capable of restraining us and I do not expect we will restrain ourselves as our powers continue to grow.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 January 04 10:08 AM  Bioethics Reproduction

TTT said at January 4, 2009 1:03 PM:

Doesn't IVF cost about $30,000+ to do in the US today? Is the price dropping?

The main benefit I see in the US is that many people in their early 30s can't afford kids. By the time they get more money in their 40s, they are too old. IVF will enable such people to have 3 kids if they want.

Mirco said at January 5, 2009 7:56 AM:

The prices in India and other places in the developing nations is many time smaller of the prices in the US and in the Western nations.
The major costs are about the human labor, not the costs of the tools or the drugs used. And the added costs of regulations (probably the bigger part).

Lasik cost around 1300 $ in Thailand and 13.000 $ in the US, like many other medical practices.

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