A Frightening Lesson InFertility: Slice Up Your Ovaries or Plan On Fighting

By on October 3, 2013

DrKawamuraMy take on the latest infertility treatment published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

A 30 year old woman, along with twenty six other infertility patients, recently had her ovaries surgically removed, cut into small cubes and then placed into her fallopian tubes after the ovarian tissue had been treated with egg-stimulating drugs.  The young woman gave birth to a baby boy, and the treatment, according to Dr. Kawamura – the fertility specialist who developed the technique – is expected to be “widely available throughout the world.”

The 30-year-old new mom and the twenty-six other women who have undergone this experimental procedure were diagnosed with ovarian insufficiency, a diagnosis I have seen successfully resolved in countless clients over the past two decades as a fertility educator and activist. (See case history at this link.)

Ovarian insufficiency, once known as POF (premature ovarian failure) was my own diagnosis 20 years ago.  It refers to elevated levels of the follicle stimulating hormone (high FSH), an imbalance that usually does not respond to synthetic stimulants. Since it’s a diagnosis that doesn’t do well with conventional treatments, egg donation is usually offered as the only medical solution for women with POF. Some women are told they have anywhere between 1 to 10% chance of conceiving.

Several years ago, I renamed POF to stand for Plan On Fighting, rather than premature ovarian failure.

With women ranging from late twenties to early forties, I’ve seen ovaries, including my own,  bounce back to life after a generous physical and emotional overhaul. Since the roots of the imbalance continue to be poorly understoond by the current reductive science of assisted reproduction, as in the case of the Japanese experimental procedure, women often resort to desperate measures in the hopes of achieving a successful pregnancy.

As I see it, a patient, especially someone as young as the Japanese woman, who submits to having her ovaries surgically removed in a highly experimental procedure, not only loses vital organs that play a key role in her overall endocrine function, she forfeits any possibility of a natural pregnancy. She also forfeits the healing which a POF diagnosis can offer.

The fact that seasoned fertility specialists like Hailey Hall, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Houston Methodist Hospital, and others welcome this questionable technique as “exciting” news tells me how far practitioners of assisted reproduction have come from the view of the human organism as a mysterious, inseparable, dynamic whole.  It appears as though in the brave new world of ART, we are moving closer and closer to viewing the human body as nothing more than a collection of well designed parts to be dissected with little regard for consequences to the patient’s overall level of health.

Click here for additional stories of natural pregnancies after a POF diagnosis.


9 Responses to “A Frightening Lesson InFertility: Slice Up Your Ovaries or Plan On Fighting”

  1. Openhearted says:

    I felt myself cringing as I read this story. How could a person accept this medical intervention while ultimately loosing a part of themselves. The ovaries are more then just a baby making organ, but a part of the holy human loaf. I would think at some point after her child was born she may question if she would want to have another. Is this even possible? With you work Julia I have a whole different view of POF. I can thank the imagery and body truth for giving my orphans pathways to freedom.

  2. Hautbois says:

    This procedure is completely opposite to the birthing process. It is a barricade in the pilgrimage. It invades the woman’s body, it destroys the organ that is an essential part of creation, and it obstructs the opportunity for that dear woman to come face-to-face with the truth.
    Julia’s tools open the doors to these opportunities of seeing the truth. That these 27 women in the experimental study could not begin their journey to the truth is devastating.

    Thank you, Julia, for your powerful, beautiful teaching, and may we all move together in raising awareness, in our Plan On Fighting.

  3. Robin says:

    Thank you for bringing this procedure to the forefront. Again, I have no idea how this person got pregnant with this procedure. OK – maybe I sort of get it since the ovaries were treated with egg stimulating drugs. One question is why they would remove both ovaries from a 30 year old woman? Again, this is radical and strange. There must have been some function of at least one of this person’s ovaries to end up with a baby. What happened to the other 26 women? Did they end up with babies or just one out of 26? I cannot imagine the devastation of having both ovaries removed and no baby to show from it.

    Thank you for your faith in the miraculous human body, Julia.

  4. JenniferC says:

    Wow. There are so many things wrong with this. I know that the reproductive “specialists” are interested in helping woman become pregnant, but after reading about this experimental technique I can’t help but feel and think that there is disregard for the wisdom of the inherent intelligence of the whole human being and too much regard for experimentation at all cost. And in this case, the cost of this woman’s organs. I am thrilled for this woman who had her baby, but It is unfortunate that Dr. Kawamura could not use his strengths as a researcher/doctor in a more holistically visionary way that would allow this woman to keep her internal organs AND become pregnant. Removing a woman’s ovaries (for life) in order to stimulate conception seems pretty far from the child-friendly Earth that we are working toward in Fertile Heart.

    And lastly…. why why why can the mainstream reproductive community not engage and work with the mind/body connection. There is so much evidence that shows the importance of this link! Since I’ve been doing Julia’s work as well as other mind/body techniques, I keep coming to the realisation that it is not a link that can be broken. A little emotional mending and as Julia writes above, “a generous physical and emotional overhaul” can heal mountains.

  5. Kristen says:

    This is so crazy. Did they really chop up this woman’s ovaries? It is amazing this woman got pregnant, and I am not even sure I really understand how she did, but I kept thinking that this woman would wind up in the same position again years later, longing for a second child. I was told it was pretty much impossible for me to conceive a second child and it was devastating to me. Finding Julia’s work saved me and my family. I knew surgery wasn’t the cure (and not even an option with my age & FSH at most clinics) and Julia’s work just made so much sense to me. I would hear over and over again stories about woman having multiple in-vitro procedures that would fail over and over again and that didn’t make sense to me. When I started working with Julia’s tools, I felt some control over my fertility again. Thank you Julia! And many many thank you’s for my beautiful second son! xoxo

  6. RR says:

    This truly breaks my heart. :( It reminds me of the first response people have when they hear about my “diagnosis” — isn’t there SOME medication out there that a doctor can prescribe for you? The feeling of desperation that has been spread by the marketing agencies for fertility clinics are reaching far beyond those yearning for a child, and it seems that today no one is immune from jumping on the “easy” bandwagon, which really is not the easy way out due to all the heartache and other issues they can cause.

    I am becoming so grateful for my “diagnosis” of POF. The time I have now to work on myself and love up those orphans is absolutely priceless. Thank you, Julia, for being my teacher!!

  7. This is another thoughtful comment left on the Fertile Heart Facebook page in response to this blog. Ashley S.B. makes some really important
    points. I couldn’t resist sharing her note. Thank you, Ashley!
    Ashley’s comment:

    “I’m not with the surgery – because it is truly only an act of desperation. Ovaries that function are more than just baby-making miracles; they serve to keep us healthy, keep our bones strong, keep our heart strong, and reduce certain types of cancer. Having a lack of ovarian function at a young age, like the Japanese woman (and myself) leads to heart disease, heart attacks, and osteoporosis, not to mention an increase in certain cancers, and all before/in mid 50s. If you want your “evidence from a randomized clinical trial”, you can find plenty of it proving what I’m saying about needing function ovaries. You remove your ovaries surgically in an attempt in a HIGHLY experimental procedure for a one-time chance at becoming a mother through medical intervention? You will never have functioning ovaries again, and instead will live the rest of your life on estrogen patch replacement therapy, only to surrender to a number of empirically-proven increases in DIFFERENT cancers and diseases that claim your life prematurely.

    I can surrender to my desperation, and I can give up decades of my life in hopes of having this one shot at having a baby, or I can surrender to fighting for my life, my shot at having a baby, and my faith that I can heal, I can function, I can be more than a busted mechanism forever on medical interventions because of the rabbit hole… and that I will become a parent in this beautiful process.”

  8. tracy says:

    This is crazy. It’s wonderful that this woman was able to conceive, but what about if she longs for a second child? It sounds like she will only be able to conceive with medical intervention, which, if that doesn’t work, another pregnancy will not be an option. I think that is very sad. I am currently pregnant with POF and was told that another pregnancy was not possible and to consider donor egg if we wanted to parent again. As it turns out a natural conception was very possible because it happened. That’s why I so love Julia’s tools. They helped me to determine that I was truly the expert and that I could decide what was best for my body.

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