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Single Aussie spent $50k on IVF to become mum despite 16 per cent success rate

Recent stats reveal there’s been a 25 per cent rise in women between the ages of 40 and 44 undergoing IVF.

While deciding when is the right time to have children is a divisive topic, a growing number of Aussie women are waiting until later in life to start families. Recent data by fertility group, City Fertility, shows that there’s been a 25 per cent uptick in women between the ages of 40 and 44 undergoing IVF since 2021.

While clinics admit it’s not something they encourage due to success rates as low as 16 per cent, women are increasingly ignoring the stats.

One such woman is soon-to-be mum, Annika Menke, who due in May. The 43-year-old admits that while she always wanted to have children, she had a “man problem”.

“It’s more and more common these days that women tend to wait until they are older,” the Sydneysider told Yahoo News Australia. “It’s not advised to wait as long as I did because your chances are so greatly reduced. I didn't necessarily have a fertility problem, I had a man problem.”

Annika Menke smiling at the camera with her pregnancy bump.
Annika Menke admits it wasn't a fertility problem holding her back from starting a family, it was a man problem. She later had IVF. Source: Supplied

Single woman spends $50,000 after realising she 'doesn't need a man to have a baby'

But after speaking to her grandmother, who told her she didn’t need a man to have a baby, she decided to explore IVF on her own.

Annika had to undergo two gruelling rounds of IVF and went through four transfers before she finally fell pregnant six months ago. Along the way, she spent over $50,000.

“I used part of my super, I saved a lot and moved back home with my parents,” she told Yahoo. “It was a lot of sacrifices.”

While Annika knows she is one of the lucky ones, she’s all too aware of the measly 16% success rate of IVF - adding “my heart aches for those women”.

She admits that even she “got to the point where I was okay not being a mum because I had given it my best shot. You never want to think ‘what if’.”

Annika theorises that there are lots of reasons why women are waiting until later in life to have kids - including wanting to have life experiences before starting a family, as well as the cost of living.

Annika Menke with her pregnancy bump.
The single mum-to-be is due in May. Source: Supplied

IVF 'not something we encourage'

City Fertility specialist Bill Ledger admits that having a child over 40 is “not something we encourage, but the data doesn’t lie,”

“Generally, we suggest that would-be parents should be aiming to have finished growing their family by the time they enter their forties,” he said.

“Times have certainly changed, with women choosing to build a career over parenthood and sentiment around finding a partner or the right partner is now more liberal than it’s ever been.”

According to Your IVF Success data, the success rate for a 40-year-old woman is 16 per cent. By the time she’s 43 it’s 6 per cent and at 45 as low as 2.1 per cent.

According to the latest statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 60 per cent of births across the country were to mothers between the ages of 30 and 39 years of age, with 22.1 per cent born to mums between 35 to 39.

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