Dutch consider raising fertility treatment age limit

new baby handThe Dutch association of obstetricians and gynaecologists NVOG is investigating whether the maximum age for fertility treatment in the Netherlands should be raised from 45 to 50, the Volkskrant said at the weekend.

Currently ivf treatment is only free to the under 43s. Women aged 44 and 45 can apply for treatment but have to pick up the bill themselves.

Using donor or frozen eggs would give women over the age of 45 a better chance of becoming a mother, professor Bart Fauser told the paper. ‘It is purely an ethical discussion about how desirable it is to have such old mothers.’


The current limit dates from 1997 and makes the Netherlands one of the most conservative countries in the world, the Volkskrant said.

The Netherlands’ oldest mother Tineke Geessink had a child in 2011 at the age of 63 after being given a donor egg at an Italian clinic. Spanish clinics treat some 800 Dutch women a year, many of whom are over the age of 40, the paper said.

The request to examine raising the age limit was made by health minister Edith Schippers in 2014 but has only now been picked up by the NVOG, the paper said.

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