Ageing and Reproductive Decline in Assisted Reproductive Technologies in India: Mapping the ‘Management’ of Eggs and Wombs

Majumdar, Anindita (2021) Ageing and Reproductive Decline in Assisted Reproductive Technologies in India: Mapping the ‘Management’ of Eggs and Wombs. Asian Bioethics Review, 13. pp. 39-55. ISSN 1793-8759

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10.1007/s41649-020-00161-z - Published Version

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In this paper, I discuss the ethical underpinnings to the anthropological analysis of age and reproductive decline in the ‘management’ of infertility, by suggesting that assisted reproductive technologies (ART) ‘use’ age and reproductive decline to further endanger women’s bodies by subjecting it to disaggregation into parts that do not belong to them anymore. Here, the category of age becomes a malleable concept to manipulate women seeking fertility management. In ethnographic findings from two Indian ART clinics, amongst women aged between 20 and 35 years visiting an IVF/ART clinic in Hyderabad city in South India, and women above 50 years of age visiting an IVF/ART clinic in Hisar in North India—reproductive bodies are similarly disaggregated. In case of younger women, the treatment is fixated on rescuing eggs that may be in ‘decline’, and in case of older women, the aim is to engineer a viable pregnancy. Thus, the constant focus on eggs and wombs in infertility treatment creates a body that is not only not whole but also completely without agency. Age becomes a category that has rhetorical value to ‘push’ or persuade women into particular forms of fertility management through infertility medicine. I undertake a problematization of the egg and the uterus through the identification of the recurring motif of the menstrual cycle within IVF treatment to suggest that bodily holism is not part of ART discourse that unethically thrives on promoting technological intrusions to promote its use and normalization.

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IITH Creators:
IITH CreatorsORCiD
Majumdar, Anindita0000-0002-5836-0047
Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Asian Bioethics Review Volume 13, issue 1, March 2021 Reproduction, Demography and Cultural Anxieties in India and China Issue editors Anindita Majumdar, Ravinder Kaur and Paro Mishra 8 articles in this issue
Uncontrolled Keywords: Infertility,Assisted reproductive technologies (ART),India,Reproductive ageing,Fertility
Subjects: Social sciences > Asian Studies
Divisions: Department of Liberal Arts
Depositing User: Team Library
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2021 04:18
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2021 04:54
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