” Dominic Stoop and colleagues discussed the application of fertility preservation techniques to counter natural age-related fertility decline. We are concerned about some factual rates presented by the authors.
- Most importantly, the authors fail to mention that natural conception rates in women older than 30 years, although rarely studied, are actually quite good. Estimates of the probability that women will have a naturally conceived child when they initially attempt conception at the age of 35 years are 85%.
- As the authors point out, for women aged 25 years, failure rates for fertility preservation after oocyte vitrification are 70%, and increase to more than 85% for women older than 40 years.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of clinics offering this service—including the authors’ own clinics—are not sharing these rates with potential consumers, nor are they discussing the potential health risks to infants or women.
In delicate matters such as reproduction, we would anticipate a clear distinction between clinicians’ various interests, including scientific, professional, and financial. Although the three authors are formally correct when declaring no competing interests, their work in large fertility centres that actively advocate fertility preservation might be perceived as such. ”