IVF cycles for single women on the increase
The number of single women using IVF treatment to have a baby has increased over the past two years.
New figures show that there has been an increase from 1,615 cycles of IVF using donated sperm in 2009 to 1,963 cycles last year, an increase of 21 per cent.
IVF treatment as a whole has increased by 5.9% over the same period, according to the figures released by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).
The head of reproductive medicine services at St George's University Hospital in London, Professor Geeta Nargund, said: “Women know the clock is ticking. The biological clock is different for men and women and women know they cannot afford to wait.
“They want to go and have their children and if a man turns up later, well fine, they will have their children and a partner.”
The figures also show that an increasing number of women over 40 are using IVF.
In 1998 10 per cent of IVF cycles were performed in the over 40s. In 2010 the figure had risen to 19 per cent.
Most IVF cycles are still paid for privately but there has been a slight increase in the amount funded by the NHS between 2009 and 2010.
There are fears that with NHS cutbacks, IVF will cease to be as readily accessible to those who cannot afford private treatment.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, commented:
“The rise in IVF treatment amongst single women is concerning, as it indicates a trend of separating child birth from dual parenthood.
“Every child has the right to a mother and a father. The research shows that children relate differently to mothers and fathers and each relationship enriches the development of the child in different ways. The good of the child must be paramount.”