Assisted reproduction technologies can’t delay adulthood

All too frequently, I am faced with breaking bad news to disappointed couples in their early 40s who expected IVF to solve their fertility problems. The sad truth is that there’s often little I can offer if the woman is much over 40, apart from egg donation from a younger sibling, friend or donor.Many of these couples have read about the recent scientific advances that have led to significant improvements in assisted reproductive technology. But what’s not so well understood is that these advances really apply only to women in their 20s and 30s. Today, just 12 per cent of IVF cycles in women over 40 result in the birth of a baby.

Men and women are tending to delay the traditional markers of adulthood. Marriage and children have given way to travel, career aspirations and a mortgage, just at the time fertility specialists like me would be advising them to think seriously about starting a family.

From a societal point of view, what worries me is what demographer and social commentator Mark McCrindle refers to as the “safety net syndrome” – the perception held that someone, whether it’s the government or medical science, will solve the problems that have arisen because of a person’s own choices. When it comes to fertility, that’s simply not possible.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: IVF isn’t a fix-all for those choosing to delay adulthood

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