City Fertility Centre Adelaide, at the Western Hospital in Henley Beach, is marking its first anniversary. Even better, though, it is celebrating the births of its first, much-wanted babies for several families, including Tamara and Damien Simpson.
Little Fraser Simpson is only three months old but is already the apple of big brother Eddie’s eye. Their mum says Eddie is “completely in love with Fraser and wants to hug him all the time”.
Mrs Simpson, 33, said ovulation problems had hindered her chances of falling pregnant so the couple sought the fertility centre’s help.
The Simpsons’ first full IVF cycle resulted in a successful pregnancy and the birth of Fraser.
“We are over the moon with our two little boys and haven’t ruled out trying for a third child yet, but we will wait a while before we make that decision,” Mrs Simpson said.
Dr Stankiewicz said he had seen a steady stream of new patients during the clinic’s first year of operation. He said people needed to consider their fertility health, just as they did their heart, bone and skin health.
“For those who are lucky enough, having a baby is one of the most significant things they will do in their lives, but most take it for granted that it will happen easily, when they are ready,” he said.
“The fact is that one in six couples have trouble falling pregnant.
“Fertility issues can be caused by a variety of factors, including increasing maternal age, lifestyle, environmental factors and medical conditions, among others.
“Age is one of the top reasons people have trouble conceiving, because fertility declines as age increases. Women are most fertile in their 20s, but due to a change in lifestyle, many people are delaying having children until after this age.”
Official figures show the average maternal age in Australia has reached 30.
Dr Stankiewicz said while the age clock could not be turned back, prospective parents could take other steps to optimise their fertility, including simple things such as managing their weight, exercising and following a healthy diet.
In addition, he said, many common medical issues that impacted on fertility health were mostly treatable, including conditions such as endometriosis, ovulation disorders and tubal blockages.
The latest official figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) show that more than 13,000 babies a year are born from assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment in Australia and New Zealand.
For more information, contact City Fertility Centre Adelaide on 1300 483 235 or visit www.cityfertility.com.au.