A woman calling for egg donors on the internet says she has used up her own eggs in 16 unsuccessful IVF treatments.
Married couple of 10 years, Tracey and Grahame, have suffered multiple miscarriages and resorted to putting an advertisement up on classifieds website Gumtree last week.
In it, they ask if readers can give them “the gift of life”.
Tracey said their long fertility battle had taken a significant emotional and financial toll.
“At some point you stop trying with your own eggs,” she told AAP.
“We had assets we could draw on… but at the end of the day if we get a baby it will be worth it.”
At the end of the day if we get a baby it will be worth it
Tracey had asked her sister to be a donor but, at 42, she was considered too old to be viable.
Eventually, Tracey said her doctor encouraged her to put an advertisement online calling for donors.
The Wagga Wagga couple plan to get to know any potential donors before going ahead with the procedure, she said.
This is not the first time they’ve gone public with their search – they’d previously advertised in their local paper and were surprised when another couple did the same the following week.
Strangers had been sending messages of support, Tracey said.
“People have called me, or emailed me or texted me to say good luck or we’re thinking of you,” she said.
Tracey hoped the advertisement might also inspire other couples to consider egg donation.
IVF Australia’s Professor Michael Chapman says egg donation rates are so low in Australia that many couples travel overseas for treatment.
“I’ve seen two patients this morning who are going to Greece to get egg donors,” he told AAP.
“Making it difficult in Australia does not stop people accessing egg donation.”
Individuals in NSW can publish advertisements for egg donors without ministerial approval. But they cannot provide money or other inducements to encourage it.
Since 2010, registered donors must provide personal details so any donor-conceived offspring can apply for the information when they turn 18.