AM I TOO OLD FOR IVF
WHAT AGE IS TOO OLD FOR IVF?
I thought it was too late for me... but I heard that's not true – is it?
IS THERE A LEGAL LIMIT FOR IVF CANDIDATES?
Age limits on IVF treatment vary from country to country and from clinic to clinic, however there is no 'legal' age limit.
The oldest IVF mother was 66 when she successfully gave birth via IVF in 2004! There are still places which do not condone or allow IVF though, on the basis of ethical reasons (single women, gay couples). In Iran, for example they allow egg donation but not sperm donation!
HOW CAN IVF HELP IN YOUR NATURAL REPRODUCTIVE CYCLE?
Conception and full-term pregnancy can happen naturally any time between puberty and menopause, which in theory can be around 14 to over 50.
The average age of women receiving IVF treatment using their own eggs or embryos is 36 years. The average age for women using donated eggs or embryos is 40.8 years.
The main factor affecting a woman's chance of getting pregnant, either naturally or via IVF treatment, is egg quality and quantity...not necessarily age!
ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET
When a female is born she already has all the eggs she's ever going to have stored in her ovaries. These eggs are released over the years, each month. So, the older a woman is the less eggs she has and obviously the older they are too.
There are many other things that can affect egg quality too: stress, environmental pollutants and even hormones in the food we eat (milk, cheese and meat are prime culprits).
USING A IVF DONOR
For a lot of women (especially over 40) who wish to undergo IVF treatment the best option, with the highest possibility of success, is to use donor eggs.
You may also, depending on the age/health of your partner choose donor sperm. Either way a fertility expert like Dr Alexander can help you to make the best choice depending on your individual needs and circumstances.
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES IVF SUCCESS?
We'd be lying if we said the chances of a successful full-term pregnancy for women over 40 were the same as for those under 40. But that doesn't mean there is no chance at all!
Most IVF clinics will accept patients up to age 45, with a few offering the service up to 50. Other than that the choice really is yours...
YOUR NEXT STEP
If you have fertility or any symptoms of relating to your reproductive system you may require further investigation.
We would advise that you see your general practitioner and possibly obtain a referral to see Dr Alexander.
Dr Alexander can offer specialised help, advice on a possible diagnosis, further investigations and suitable treatment. Contact his rooms at http://www.my-obgyn.com.au/contact/