Altering the primal environment: Health effects associated with assisted reproductive technologies

When Darine El-Chaar began her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Ottawa five years ago, she grew curious about the potential health repercussions of assisted reproductive technologies (ART), the catchall term for procedures used to help couples artificially conceive a child. ART involves surgically removing eggs from a woman’s ovaries, combining them with sperm in the laboratory, and returning them to the womb. Women undergoing ART take “fertility drugs” such as clomiphene citrate and gonadotropins to stimulate the production of many eggs rather than the single egg that would normally grow during their monthly menstrual cycle.

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