IVF and Age
Getting older is not easy. This is especially true of women who are trying to conceive. The older a woman is, the harder it is for her to achieve pregnancy and to carry that pregnancy to full term. Unfortunately, infertility is not uncommon. Approximately 10 percent of the population has experienced infertility. Male factor infertility accounts for approximately 30 percent of the cases, female factor infertility accounts for approximately 30 percent of the cases, unexplained infertility accounts for approximately 20 percent of the cases, and a combination of male factor and female factor infertility account for approximately 10 percent of the cases.
Women under the age of 35 should seek the advice of a fertility specialist after a year of trying to conceive. Women 35 and older should seek the advice of a fertility specialist six months after trying to conceive unsuccessfully. Some patients seek the assistance of their gynecologist before visiting a reproductive endocrinologist. Most gynecologists are only able to address minor fertility issues that are easy to overcome. The specialists at our fertility center in Omaha are better able to address, diagnose, and treat fertility issues, including those that are relatively complex.
A woman’s age can have a significant impact on her fertility. It is estimated that about one-third of couples trying to conceive in which the female partner is over the age of 35 are affected by infertility. Age can greatly affect a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant. It also increases a woman’s risk of miscarriage. Women that are over the age of 35 often have a smaller number of eggs left than those of younger women. The eggs that are remaining are typically not as healthy as eggs in younger women.
IVF success rates are higher in women that are under the age of 35. The in vitro fertilization success rates continue to decline with a woman’s increasing age. Yet, there is still hope. A decrease or decline in fertility does not mean that a woman cannot or will not achieve a successful outcome. Though the success rates are not as high for women that are over the age of 35, IVF is still an effective and successful treatment for many women.
IVF may be utilized to address many fertility issues. The age of a woman at the time of treatment, the patient’s ovarian reserve, and the specific cause of the couple’s infertility are all factors that are considered during IVF. A woman with poor egg quality or poor ovarian reserve may benefit from IVF with donor eggs. Women over the age of 40 may also benefit from using donor eggs. Donor eggs may greatly improve a woman’s chances of achieving a successful outcome.
Another factor to consider with IVF and patient age is the number of embryos to transfer. IVF increases a patient’s risk of multiple pregnancy. It is recommended that only one embryo is transferred in cycles of younger women, and two embryos transferred in cycles of older women.
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To learn more about the effect that age may have on the success of IVF, please call or email the team at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, PC, today.