Written by Julieanne Strachan

Canberra fertility specialists are warning women not to put off their plans to start a family until their 40s in the belief they will simply be able to freeze their eggs and have them thawed later.
Australian women are increasingly using assisted reproductive technology treatments, new data has shown, but doctors are warning that the chances of achieving a live birth using a frozen egg were significantly less than from a frozen embryo.

About 3 per cent of Australian babies born in 2009 were conceived via in vitro methods, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has said in its 2012 report, but the odds of a live birth dropped dramatically for women once they entered their 40s.

For Australian women aged 45 and over using their own eggs, one live delivery resulted from every 800 initiated cycles of IVF in 2009, compared with one live delivery from every four initiated cycles in women aged 25-34. Women undergoing ART using donor eggs were generally older, the average age being 40.8 years.

Canberra Fertility Centre Dr Bronwyn Devine said age was still crucial to a woman’s fertility.

“The majority of women who come to me in their 40s will not get pregnant via IVF,” she said.

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