Infertility is still a subject that women and men alike don’t feel quite comfortable talking about openly. Yet it’s a growing issue in Australia with the number of couples seeking IVF increasing every year. In fact many couples are choosing to seek IVF treatment overseas as they are finding the wait too long at times in some clinics. Egg Donation is also not as highly regulated in other countries as it is here in Australia- making it easier to find a donor overseas.
We are seeing a growing trend of women, especially celebrities, in their 40’s seemingly falling pregnant and having babies easily. What we don’t hear however, is exactly how these women fell pregnant and how many miscarriages they had to go through to finally stay pregnant. It’s a struggle that many women, myself included, are all too familiar with.
The fact still remains that a woman’s fertility decreases dramatically after the age of 30. The quality of a woman’s eggs are also not as great at 35 as they were at 25 year of age. For this reason, many women in their 30’s are choosing to freeze their eggs should they need them later on once they have met a parter or are ready to have children.
Which is why the information that champion netballer Liz Ellis has shared with Australia is so significant. After having her first child naturally 4 years ago, 42 year old Ellis was having trouble conceiving her second baby.
Ellis went through five rounds of IVF and three miscarriages until she finally fell pregnant this year.
“It’s been four long years, I’ve had five rounds of IVF and three miscarriages, but finally, I am pregnant.”
“We’ve got a beautiful little girl, Evelyn, who turned four a couple of weeks ago,” she told an Australian news show this week.
The 42-year-old, who is married to former rugby union player Matthew Stocks, said after having her daughter in 2011 naturally, she was expecting no fertility issues.
Unfortunately though, falling pregnant the second time round wasn’t so simple. Whether it was Ellis’ age that played a role, or just a change in her fertility, it’s a very common problem that is shared by women worldwide. How refreshing for a woman like Ellis, to say that yes she is pregnant, but it was by no means easy. Five rounds of IVF is nothing to laugh at. It’s taxing on a woman’s body as well as her mental state.
We need more women like Ellis to come out and talk about their infertility and IVF struggles so that the everyday woman like you and I, can feel okay about discussing our own battles. And let’s be honest, we’ve all had them.
Have you had fertility issues and have you talked about them openly?