Infertility was qualified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a serious social disease and entered in the list of the International Classification of Diseases, ICD10. We talk about infertility if a couple having regular (3-5 per week) sexual intercourses and not using contraceptives fails to achieve a pregnancy within 12 months. It results from the definition that the basic feature of infertility is the inability to achieve pregnancy and have children. In such a case, the application of medical procedures which change this status quo can unquestionably be considered a treatment.

The circles which oppose in vitro fertilization often argue in this context that in vitro does not eliminate the cause of infertility. However, medicine makes distinction between the causal and the symptomatic treatment. There are many diseases where the source of health problems cannot be removed, but where the negative effects can be eliminated. This is the case, for example, with patients with failing kidneys who need transplantation, with diabetics who need to take insulin from outside source, or patients with heart defects who live with implanted artificial heart valves. The medical treatment solves the problem but does not make the affected organs suddenly healthy. Nevertheless, nobody questions the fact that the patients are treated. The infertility treatment works along the same lines – although it not always allows to remove the causes of the problem, it eliminates their effect and allows for achieving a pregnancy.

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Published: 2 November 2015 Updated: 4 April 2017