The average age for IVF has risen, but experts say limits necessary

The average age of women going to local medical facilities to have a baby through in vitro fertilization has risen to 34.5 years in Shanghai.

The average age of women going to local medical facilities to have a baby through in vitro fertilization has risen to 34.5 years in Shanghai after the government allowed all couples to have a second child, leading many older women to seek medical help, medical experts told a fertilization forum in the city.

Doctors said the best age to have a first child is before 35 years, and that women over 45 years of age should avoid getting pregnant for the health of both mother and child.

Bruno Lunenfeld, a world leading reproductive specialist from Israel, said the government only covers medical bills for IVF treatment in women aged under 45 in Israel. It is difficult for a woman to raise a child if she is too old, he said, and there is a much higher chance of risks like deformities if a woman has a baby at an advanced age.

Dr Teng Xiaoming, from Shanghai First Maternity and Infant Hospital, said the local health authority also stipulated that medical facilities should not offer IVF treatment to women over 55 years of age. “It is unhealthy both medically and ethically to offer IVF services to these women,” Teng said.

In addition to concern about age, local medical facilities also began restricting the implantation of multiple embryos. To ensure success, doctors usually implanted more than one embryo, which resulted in a high incidence of twins.

“The percentage of implanting two to three embryos has reduced from 40 to 22, after the improvement of technology and concern for the health and safety of both mother and child,” Teng added. “For young women in good health, we usually implant only one good-quality embryo to ensure a smooth and safe pregnancy,” he said.

Special Reports
Top