Women are risking their chances of having children because they are delaying motherhood on the basis of “false expectations” about the success of IVF treatment.
It seems that two-thirds of women interviewed by researchers admitted they had put off starting a family for an average of four years.
According to one of Britain’s leading fertility experts Dr Richard Kennedy, of the British Fertility Society, some doctors and clinics had contributed to the myth that IVF and other procedures could overcome any problems.
Kennedy says there is an incredible amount of false and unreasonable expectation about fertility treatment and what it can do.
Speaking at the annual conference of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, he said that doctors are partly to blame because of the way in which IVF is talked about.
Stories about ‘medical breakthroughs’ where women of 60 have given birth as a result of fertility treatment only serve to exacerbate the problem.
Experts say that one in seven couples in the UK experience fertility problems, and they predict that rates will soar over the next decade.
Some of the causes lie with lifestyle factors such as smoking and drinking, but specialists stress that the biggest factor in infertility is the age of the woman.