By Ruth Fogarty and Sarah Dingle
Australia’s IVF industry is booming.
Tens of thousands of women put their bodies and faith in the hands of fertility specialists in the hopes of conceiving.
But the physical, emotional and financial toll can be huge.
Four Corners has investigated the baby business — here are three unique personal stories from women who have taken the IVF journey.
Grace and Damien.
“Sometimes I feel like I’m a fraud of a woman. I look like one, but my body just isn’t doing what I want it to do, which is to fall pregnant and have a child,” Grace Lococo.
Grace Lococo and Damien Milloy have pinned their hopes on IVF.
They decided on using a sperm donor because Damien has a rare genetic condition, which he does not want to pass on to his own child.
After 18 months and six rounds of IVF, they are $40,000 out of pocket and Grace has not fallen pregnant once.
Grace is now on her seventh cycle, and approaching her 43rd birthday.
But the odds are stacked against them — a 43-year-old Australian woman, using her own 43-year-old eggs to conceive, has less than a 3 per cent chance of going home with a live baby.
Yet the couple said they had never been told their overall chances of conception.
“I did freeze my eggs at 42 … It was a last ditch, desperate scramble,” Julia Leigh.
In her late 30s, Julia Leigh’s career as a writer and director was taking off.
But when she began planning a family with her husband, their marriage fell apart.
Julia decided to visit a fertility clinic alone.
And like many women over 40, she believed she could defy the odds.