How Age Affects Fertility

Women over 40 have a reduced and sometimes nonexistent chance of getting pregnant. At 40, even fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), can be less effective compared to younger women. As women age, the quality and quantity of eggs decrease, thereby limiting the chance for conception.

ReUnite Rx Am I Too Old For IVF Options For Getting Pregnant At 40

Age limits for IVF treatment

IVF treatment can be performed with a woman’s own eggs or donor eggs. Some IVF clinics will have age restrictions for either treatment option. IVF clinics usually use a woman’s own eggs if the woman is between 42-45 years old. Donor eggs are typically used until a woman is 49. Some clinics take women over 50.

Age reduces egg quality and quantity

Egg abnormalities develop in older women more frequently than younger women. In a 30-year-old woman, 30% of eggs are chromosomally abnormal. At 40, about 60% of eggs are abnormal. The percentage goes up to 90% by the age of 44. Preimplantation genetic testing can help identify any abnormalities to increase the chances of conception.

What does IVF entail?

IVF requires a large selection of eggs taken from the ovarian reserve. The more eggs, the higher the chance for pregnancy. IVF clinics will stimulate the woman with injectable FSH drugs to retrieve the most amount of eggs possible. Women 40 and over have low egg numbers, which reduces the chance of a successful pregnancy.

Donor eggs increase the chance of conception

For some women over 40, conception can be nearly impossible. Donor eggs, however, significantly increase a couple’s chances of producing a biological child. At 40, a woman has a 5% chance of conception per cycle. With IVF, the chances increase to 20%. Using donor eggs and IVF can be a worthwhile alternative for couples who have been struggling for years.

How to increase fertility

Conception over 40 is possible, especially with IVF treatment. Besides proper treatment, women are advised to eat healthy foods that can improve fertility. Regular exercise can also prepare women for pregnancy by strengthening the uterus and pelvic muscles. Finally, stress management techniques such as yoga, meditation, and acupuncture can relax the body and increase the chance of conception. For more information about fertility treatments, speak with a fertility specialist.

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