16 May 2016

Australian women support fertility preservation – keeping options open

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Queensland Fertility Group

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A ground breaking survey of 1,000 single Australian women aged 18-45 has confirmed career and lifestyle are taking priority for women over children. Awareness and acceptance of fertility preservation (freezing eggs) and the use of single woman donor sperm are very high.

“This survey confirms the commonly held conception that women’s attitudes towards starting a family have changed. With Australia’s fertility rate at 1.8 percent, the lowest reported on record, fertility specialists are seeing an increasing number of women enquiring about freezing their eggs for future fertility,” said Dr David Molloy, Medical Director Queensland Fertility Group.

“Media reports of global organisations Facebook and Apple offering female staff egg freezing to preserve their fertility raised awareness that a woman’s fertility declines with age and technology is providing women a real option for a future family,” he explained.

The study, conducted in March 2016 by Virtus Health, Australia’s leading fertility provider, highlights that 95% of women were aware that they could freeze their eggs in order to preserve their fertility with one in six of the women surveyed knowing someone who has frozen their eggs to provide options for a family in the future.

“The overwhelming majority, 78% of women surveyed, believe more should be done to inform women about how egg freezing can protect their future fertility, with 67% believing that fertility education in schools should be improved,” explained Dr Molloy.

“Over the last year we have seen approximately 50% increase in social egg freezing cycles at QFG, with the number of single women undergoing treatment with donor sperm to start a family alone doubling in the last five years. On average – single women make up around 50% of our sperm donor waiting list,” said Dr Molloy.

Interestingly 32% of women said they would consider freezing eggs to preserve their fertility for reasons including:

  • Wanting to be financially secure before having a family
  • Not yet having met 'Mr Right' , but not wanting to miss out on becoming a mum
  • Wanting to travel and have more life experiences before having a family
  • Wanting to establish a career before having a family

Today society understands the values of a work family balance and the ability for women to have a family and achieve success in their career. Fertility preservation has evolved from the medical use of providing options for cancer patients to today’s technology coming of age and providing a real option for fertility preservation.

“Women are pragmatic, understanding they have options to have a child knowing age affects their chances and 23% of those surveyed indicated they would consider using donor sperm if they haven't met 'Mr Right',” Dr Molloy explained.

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