Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 6, 1976 · Page 162
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 162

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 6, 1976
Page 162
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Me, too. And I don't intend to miss a single day on the beach. That's my number one reason for choosing Tampax tampons when I'm having my menstrual period. They're worn internally. So there's, nothing to get in your way. And nothing to show or feel bulky. Even in a bikini. Tampax tampons. A combination that really works. The internal protection more women trust a «\ ·JJAOf ONUY BY JAMPAX INCORPORATED. PAIMCH. MASS British medical researchers Robert Edwards (I) and Patrick Steptoe report important strides toward producing a human baby with laboratory techniques. Test-lute BflMes: toting Son by Charles Peterson I ast month two British scientists, Drs. Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe, revealed in Lancet, a British medical magazine, the first documented case of a woman becoming pregnant via the test-tube technique. The test-tube technique calls for the fertilization of a woman's ovum by a man's sperm in a laboratory culture dish, followed by implantation into a womb, either the womb of the donor or the womb of another woman who carries the fetus until delivery and then returns it to its rightful parents. In the Lancet case, Drs. Edwards and Steptoe reported that the fertilized egg had been reimplanted in a 35-year-old woman four days after fertilization. Unfortunately, the fetus died after 10 weeks, because the pregnancy developed in the passage that connects one of the ovaries to the womb, rather than in the womb itself. Hope for the future In the near future, however, researchers hope to perfect the technique, so that women with diseased oviducts--the tubes that carry the eggs from the ovaries to the womb--will be able to bear babies. There are approximately 23 million childless couples in the U.S. who cannot have children because the wives have blocked fallopian tubes. The test-tube technique, when per- fected, would make it possible for a couple to use the womb of another woman to give birth to their baby. "In vitro" fertilization has been used in animal experimentation. Mice, for example, have been born by first fertilizing the egg in a culture dish and then implanting it into a mouse that was not the donor. The "rent-a-womb" concept might benefit women who are physically unable or who are afraid to bear children and want to hire "surrogate mothers" for the job. Surrogate mothers could be paid for their pregnancies. In the April, 1976, issue of the Western Journal of Medicine, Drs. Laurence E. Karp and Roger P. Donahue write: "A few women have called our office to inquire whether they might volunteer their services should such ventures become reality.... They state they love being pregnant and would arrange to always be in this condition if it were not for the matter of having to keep the babies. They think that hiring out their uteri would be a fine way of making a living." Possible problems The test-tube technique is considered by many a morally controversial one involving "unethical experimentation on the unborn. Critics point out that there is always a possibility that a woman undergoing pregnancy might weil become so emotionally attached to the child she is carrying that she might not wish to give it up at birth. Then, too, suppose such a child is born abnormal; its donor parents might refuse to accept it. In 1974 a British scientist claimed that three test-tube babies had already been born in Europe. Reports out of Italy said much the same thing. But no evidence has been made public to substantiate the report. In detailing their so-called test-tube case, Edwards and Steptoe explained that the early stage of their patient's pregnancy appeared normal. After two months, however, a small amount of bleeding occurred in the fallopian tube. Two weeks later, further bleeding caused the death of the embryo. The two British doctors, however, are not discouraged and plan to continue their "Brave New World" experiments. Drs. Roger Donahue (I) and Laurence Karp report that women have asked to be hired to .become pregnant for others who cannot or will not bear children.

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