By Sarah Dingle.
But that simple statement masks a lot of fine print, and a serious emotional, physical and financial toll.
Now, a Four Corners investigation reveals that while a corporatised fertility sector is making money, patients are being left in the dark about their treatment and their chances of success.
In Australia, the number of women over 40 having fertility treatment has almost tripled in the last decade.
Unlike other OECD nations, Australia has no age limit on public subsidies for fertility treatment, which last year cost Medicare more than $250 million.
Author and former IVF user Julia Leigh speaks to This Glorious Mess about the real IVF success rates:
Four Corners has obtained Australian data showing that for a woman over 40, using her own fresh eggs, the chance of taking home a live baby are slim to virtually none.
Fertility specialists have also told Four Corners there is a proliferation of “snake oil” treatments in the industry, which is self-regulating.
And leading clinicians have spoken out, saying some women who are being given IVF should not be.
The uncomfortable truth about 40+
In Australia, by far the biggest-billing IVF treatment on Medicare is a stimulated treatment cycle. This is when a woman does not have any previously frozen (and therefore younger) eggs to use, and is starting from scratch.