The enhanced technique helped older women more because women in this age group produce eggs of more variable quality. It turned out that women 40-44 years of age delivered babies at a rate of 9.9 percent in 2006, an improvement from less than 5 percent in 2004. The figures were released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. This success rate now provides older women, particularly those aged 40 or 41, with "a realistic chance" for having a baby, Illingworth said.
But Michael Chapman, medical director of the private clinic group IVF Australia, sounded a warning note. Older women, he said, shouldn't regard the new technique as an "insurance policy," because the figure 9.9 percent still doesn't represent good odds for motherhood. If women desire to have children, he suggested, they should seek to become pregnant at a younger age. "It still means the vast majority of [older] women will not go home with a baby," Chapman said.