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Baby talk. When is the right time to consider fertility solutions?
IVF treatment has come under the microscope over the past week, with industry experts arguing the best time for women to consider freezing their eggs. Sunshine Coast IVF centre, IVF Sunshine Coast says women should be free to decide at any age.
Director of Monash IVF, Professor Gab Kovacs sparked national debate when he suggested women should contemplate changing their criteria for ''Mr Right'' and settling on a father sooner, rather than relying on egg freezing as a ''guaranteed family in the fridge''.
However Scientific Director Ashley Stevenson, of local fertility centre IVF Sunshine Coast, says women in their 20s and 30s are ideal candidates for a revolutionary new egg freezing treatment, and that the benefits of using this from an early age should not be overlooked.
Mr Stevenson says women of the Sunshine Coast should explore all their options rather than settling for ''Mr not-too-bad'', and that the new techniques for egg freezing are evolving all the time.
''For young women, I think egg freezing is a perfectly valid and sensible thing to do, discussing your options early is simply being prepared,'' Mr Stevenson says.
''If women don't have the right social circumstances to start a family naturally, then why shouldn't they consider their choices and discuss egg freezing in their 20s and early 30s?'' he adds.
'' Advances in the industry are occurring all the time and women should be made aware of these new treatments, which are potentially life changing for those looking to conceive,'' he explains.
The revolutionary treatment Mr Stevenson is referring to is egg freezing using a process called vitrification, where the egg is snap frozen at an ultra-rapid speed, so no ice crystals are formed during the process; a major pitfall of traditional egg freezing techniques.
Vitrification was introduced to IVF Sunshine Coast after extensive research was conducted in Europe, where the process is common place, and is receiving outstanding results.
IVF Sunshine Coast was one of the first Queensland clinics to provide the expertise and resources needed to offer this service, and has begun encouraging women in their 20s and 30s to think seriously about this new treatment, with overseas results reporting superior rates of pregnancy using this process.
Research in the US by Reproductive Medicine Associates in New York, found an analysis of 26 studies showed conception was significantly more successful in cases involving eggs from women aged under 30, compared with cases involving eggs from women in their 40s.
Mr Stevenson says GPs need to accept vitrification as a standard part of women's' health and start talking to patients in their 20s and 30s about fertility, and informing them of egg freezing so they don’t leave it too late.
‘‘It’s a well-known fact fertility decreases with age, so it’s important women are given the chance to use these evolving techniques to start their family, regardless of what their age is,’’ Mr Stevenson says.