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Older women miss out on IVF births

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by Sue Dunlevy | The Australian

ONLY one in 100 women older than 44 who use assisted reproduction technology deliver a live baby, the latest data for Australia and New Zealand shows.


Fertility Society of Australia president Peter Illingworth said the increasing age of women undergoing ART was leading to a decrease in live delivery rates.

The live delivery rate in 2009 was almost 27 per cent for cycles in women aged 30-40, but decreased to less than 1 per cent for cycles in women aged over 44.

There has been a 48 per cent increase in ART treatments since 2005 and there was a 14 per cent jump between 2008 and 2009 alone, partly explained by limits on Medicare rebates that may have prompted a surge in treatment.

Of the 70,541 ART cycles in 2009 almost one in four (15,975) resulted in a clinical pregnancy and 17 per cent (12,127) resulted in the birth of at least one live baby.

About 3 per cent of women who gave birth nationwide received some form of ART treatment.

Women using ART have an average age of 35.8, and one in four were aged over 40.

The rate of multiple births from the treatment has dropped from 14.1 per cent in 2005 to 8.2 per cent in 2009 as clinics try to reduce the risks to mothers and babies by implanting single embryos.

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