A growing nationwide fertility trend is on the rise in Ottawa. Some women who don't want to worry about whether they can conceive naturally later in life are using in vitro fertilization, or IVF, to help make it happen.
Cassandra Bach is one of them. The 45-year-old is expecting her first child in April.
"I feel great. I really have no complaints with this pregnancy," Bach recently told CBC News.
When she decided to have a baby through IVF she was 43, and she said her chances of getting pregnant were about six or seven per cent. So, in addition to IVF, Bach sought the help of naturopathic medicine, hypnotherapy and accupuncture.
She learned to let go of her traditional idea of what a family is, and when she did, she said she got pregnant right away.
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"It's pretty exciting," she said.
Fertility drops off earlier than generally thought
Dr. Arthur Leader, who works at the Ottawa Fertility Centre, has been helping women like Bach get pregnant for decades.
The once prevailing view, he said, was that fertility for women started to drop at 35 years old. But no longer.
"For women the best-before date is somewhere between 32 and 35, and for men it's around 40," he said. "And many of the people we're seeing are over those ages and are more likely to have infertility."
Even active women lose their fertility, contrary to popular belief, Leader said.
But women who haven't yet reached the fertility drop-off point, and aren't sure about whether it's the right time to have a baby, have the option of freezing their eggs to be used in the future.
It's called social egg freezing.
"Eggs that are frozen at 32 can be kept for 10 years, and in 10 years' time can function like the eggs of a 32-year-old woman," Leader said.
It's an expensive procedure at about $6,000. But some people predict that social egg freezing could become the biggest game changer in female procreation since the pill.