Thursday, November 17, 2005

Prominent hospital sets upper age limit for IVF

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a prominent IVF center in Australia has decided to set an upper age limit for women seeking IVF treatment at their facility. The Westmead Hospital reviewed their cases and found that for women 43 and older there were only two live births for 250 women treated at their center. With a success rate of less than 1% for this age group they have made the ethical choice to limit IVF treatment to women under 43.

Elsewhere in Sydney the success rate for women 42 to 44 is reported to be five to ten percent per cycle. Westmead said that 50% of their patients are smokers, so perhaps this is contributing to a lower than average success rate.

Westmead is a nonprofit clinic which may be one reason why they have chosen to limit treatment instead of pushing it even for low probability cases. Older couples should remain realistic about their chances of success with IVF treatment. Remember that if you are in the 5% to 10% probability of success range that means each IVF cycle has only a 5% to 10% chance of success. It is not like you can do 10 cycles and guarantee success - each cycle is independent.


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