What’s the Maximum Age for IVF?
As more women choose to postpone motherhood until later in life, many may wonder if there is an upper age limit for undergoing in vitro fertilization or IVF. Although age does affect fertility, IVF can help women who thought it was too late to have children realize their dreams of motherhood.
The doctors of the Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine would like to take a moment to consider the IVF maximum age for patients in Omaha, NE, and what options may be best for maturing patients in their journey to having children.
Is There a Maximum Age for Undergoing IVF?
When it comes to IVF and age, there is technically no upper age limit. Women well into their 40s have successfully conceived and given birth with the help of IVF. In fact it was reported in the Washington Post in March of this year that a 57-year old woman gave birth to a child she conceived through IVF. However, at 57, Barbara Higgins is one of the oldest women to give birth, making her far from the normal IVF case.
With that said, IVF success rates are highest for women under the age of 35 but women in their late 30s and early 40s can also have successful pregnancies. Accordingly, the early 40s tends to be the general upper age limit for most women considering IVF.
Fertility and Aging
Although it is possible to undergo IVF at an advanced age, the later a woman waits, the more difficult it can be to become pregnant, especially if she wants to use her own eggs.
This is because women are born with all the eggs that they will ever release during their reproductive years. As a woman ages, her reserve of eggs diminishes. Around the age of 30, the quality of her eggs also begins to diminish.
By 40, egg quality and overall fertility drastically drops in women, which can make it difficult to become pregnant naturally and increases the risk of fetal abnormalities.
Egg Quality Can Extend the Maximum Age for IVF
With eggs harvested during a woman’s fertile years, the maximum age for IVF can extend beyond the early to mid-40s provided that the prospective mother is healthy enough for pregnancy.
Our Omaha patients who are past their early 40s can increase their chances of successful pregnancy with IVF by using eggs that were either frozen when they were younger or from a donor.
- Freezing eggs: One option for women who want to postpone pregnancy until later in life is to freeze their eggs while they are in their twenties or early 30s. By freezing her eggs at an early age, a woman in her 40s may be able to have her own biological children when she’s ready.
- Using a donated egg: For women who were unable to freeze their eggs when they were younger or didn’t consider doing so, eggs from a younger donor can help increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy.
Is IVF Right for You?
If you want to start or add to your family but are struggling to conceive because of your age or other factors, IVF may be right for you. To learn more about IVF or other treatment options, call our Omaha practice at (402) 717-4200 to schedule a consultation.