With late marriage becoming increasingly common, the percentage of women above the age of 40 who undergo assisted reproduction has risen to 30 percent, meaning about 300 women per year are impregnated with donated ovum, the Department of Health said yesterday.
In its 2010 analysis on assisted reproduction, the department’s report showed that the success rate of assisted reproduction is directly related to the age of the woman undergoing the procedure.
The report showed that women over 40 years old are only 13.8 percent likely to become pregnant, while a fetus’ survival rate for women of that age is only 6.7 percent.
Women under 42 years of age are less likely to accept donated ova for assisted reproduction, statistics from the department showed.
In the 11,513 assisted reproduction procedures recorded to date by the department, 316 cases used donated ova, 213 used donated sperm and the other cases all used sperm or ova from spouses.
There are many causes of sterility in men and women, said Lee Mao-sheng (李茂盛), a doctor in the assisted reproduction industry.
For older women, the main reason is the aging of the ovum, he said.
Lee also said infertile women seeking assisted reproduction only made up about 10 percent of the population a decade ago, but that percentage has grown to 30 percent today, with the number standing at between 200 and 300 women undergoing the procedure per year.
Lee said that women over 40 hoping to give birth could increase their chances by seeking donated ovum.
With a number of prominent actresses becoming pregnant in their 40s and 50s, Lee said it was very possible that they had received donated ova.
Lee also said women who get married late should try to get pregnant as soon as possible because it is better to have a child earlier rather than later.