Melbourne: A leading IVF specialist has suggested that rather than defer having children, women should forget about waiting for Mr Right and settle for “Mr Not-Too-Bad”.
Professor Gab Kovacs, the director of Monash IVF, said that while many fertility clinics are starting to spruik egg freezing to women in their 20s and 30s so that they can defer child birth for non-medical reasons, women should not be conned into thinking it offered a “‘guaranteed family in the fridge’“.
Kovacs said that given that the rate of successful births from egg freezing was low and the technology is still improving, it was too early for women in their late 20s and early 30s to think they could rely on it later in life.
“‘I think they should be working harder to find a partner or changing their criteria for ‘Mr Right’,” the Age quoted Kovacs as saying.
‘‘Maybe there is no ‘Mr Right’ and you have to settle for ‘Mr Not-Too-Bad’. There is no such thing as a perfect person for anybody, and even if they’re perfect now, they won’t be perfect in five or 10 years’ time,” he said.
Egg freezing for social reasons, rather than medical reasons like prevention of infertility from cancer treatment, is not covered by Medicare and costs between 10,000 to 14,000 dollars per cycle.
Depending on the woman, one cycle will retrieve about 10 eggs each time, giving the woman varying chances of a successful pregnancy depending on when she chooses to proceed with IVF, but the egg retrieval procedure carries about a one-in-1000 risk of significant complications like bleeding or infection.
Professor Kovacs’ comments come after a meeting of fertility specialists in the US was told that women were much more likely to conceive through IVF if their eggs were frozen when they were under 30, compared with if they waited until their 30s or 40s - the period when most women attempt egg freezing.