He believes IVF has the potential to ease the pressure on couples who have delayed having children to their thirties or forties to pursue a career, because in the future going for the test tube option will be much more effective than trying for a baby naturally.

Even young adults have no more than a one-in-four chance every month of reproducing through sex, and among the over 35s, this falls to one in 10. This compares to a near 100 per cent success rate which he believes will be possible with IVF within 10 years.

Dr Yovich, co-author of a new report in the journal Reproductive BioMedicine, said: ‘We are not quite at that stage yet, but that is where we’re heading. Natural human reproduction is at best a fairly inefficient process.

‘Within the next five to 10 years, couples approaching 40 will assess the IVF industry first when they want to have a baby.’