The Link Between Pregnancy And Age

Fertility conversations almost exclusively center around women, even though both male and female issues contribute nearly equally towards infertility woes. However, most people know a link between egg health and female age exists. As women get older, egg viability begins to decline. While not every individual over 40 and trying to conceive will experience problems, knowing when to consider egg donation is important.

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Poor ovarian reserve

The term ovarian reserve refers to the overall quantity of viable eggs. Unlike men that can produce new sperm throughout life, women are born with all the eggs possibly available. As a woman ages, the egg quantity can begin to decline. Formally referred to as diminished ovarian reserve, the condition can be caused by ovary removal genetic disorders, certain medical treatments, and autoimmune diseases. In other cases, age alone is the culprit for poor egg health.

A history of miscarriages

While not always a sign of poor egg quality, a history of recurrent miscarriages can signify that an underlying factor is preventing conception from occurring when using a woman’s eggs. Likewise, anatomical issues such as uterine abnormalities, an incompetent cervix, or even a history of autoimmune diseases can all cause multiple miscarriages. In other cases, abnormal reproductive hormonal levels can be the culprit. Assuming that male infertility is eliminated as a contributing issue, opting for donor eggs can improve conception odds.

Multiple failed IVF rounds

Similar to miscarriages, a woman or couple that undergoes more than 1 round of in vitro fertilization (IVF) without success might want to consider egg donation. Although the procedure is the most successful of all assisted reproductive treatments (ART), pregnancy rates are lower when using fresh eggs from older women. In most cases, after 2 consecutive failed rounds of IVF, women and couples are encouraged to contemplate using a donor.

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