Monday, January 21, 2008

News&Buzz: More Singles Seeking In Vitro

Northern California is reporting a sharp rise in female patients using assisted in vitro fertilization to become single parents.

"One in 10 of my patients is now a single woman," said Susan Willman, reproductive endocrinologist at the Reproductive Science Center of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Another indicator of the single-parenting-by-choice trend: sperm donation use. In 2005, about 60 percent of the customers of California Cryobank, the nation's largest sperm bank, were single women and/or lesbians, as compared with 40 percent in 1998, MSNBC said.

"More single women are coming to us to say they feel the time running out on their biological clocks," Willman said. "That's coupled with a number of medical advances that make IVF more attractive to single women, especially those who've delayed parenting for career reasons."

Among those advances in recent years, Willman says, are doubled chances of a successful IVF pregnancy compared to a decade ago, improvements in freezing embryos and eggs, and more creative financing options for IVF treatment.

Births by choice to single mothers remain on the rise. According to a Centers for Disease Control report, nearly 40 percent of American babies in 2005 were born to single mothers, up from 35 percent in 2003. Teen pregnancy rates, meanwhile, continue a decades-long decline.

For more information, visit the Reproductive Science Center of the San Francisco Bay Area.

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