• Infertility Options for Women Over 40

    on Apr 17th, 2018

If you eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regularly, you can beat the clock when it comes to your appearance. Unfortunately, while you may still look and feel like you’re in your 30s, once you’re in your 40s you can’t wind back the clock on your reproductive system. Although some women get lucky and have children in their early 40s without any medical assistance, most women over 40 experience infertility.

Women under 35 are considered infertile after trying conception for twelve months. However, women older than 35 should receive an expedited infertility evaluation and undergo treatment already after 6 months of failed attempts to have a baby or even earlier if known or suspected reproductive issues. Importantly, for women 40 or older immediate evaluation and treatment are often warranted.

Women’s fertility starts to decline after age 30; by 40, a woman has only a 5% chance each month of getting pregnant as compared to a 20% chance for a 30-year-old. Sadly, by age 40 woman’s fertility has decreased to half.

As you get older, your egg inventory, or ovarian reserve, decrease in quantity (the size of egg pool) and quality.The lowered egg quality with aging relates to the high rate of chromosomal abnormalities of eggs that decreases an egg’s capability to normally fertilize and increases the risk of miscarriage. Moreover, with aging the risks of other medical issues that may impair fertility increase including uterine fibroids, tubal disease, endometriosis, and adenomyosis. Fortunately, there are many ways the fertility specialists at Global Fertility & Genetics in New York City can help women in their 40s overcome their ovarian reserve obstacles and increase their odds of getting pregnant.

In vitro fertilization (IVF)

In an IVF procedure, a woman’s eggs and a man’s sperm are combined in a laboratory to create fertilized eggs, embryos. The specialists at Global Fertility & Genetics first test their patients to ensure that they are candidates for IVF. If so, the first step in the procedure is stimulating a woman’s egg production with fertility drugs to help create multiple mature eggs.

Through careful monitoring, the specialist determines the right time to retrieve the maximum number of eggs, which are then mixed with sperm to create embryos.

If desired, those embryos then undergo preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) to identify normal embryos that have the highest chance of implanting and creating a pregnancy. This testing increases the odds of a woman carrying a healthy baby and it also decreases the risks of having a miscarriage due to chromosomal abnormalities, so commonly encountered in women over 40.  

Egg donation

Egg donation, also called third-party reproduction, is a great option for women who don’t have a viable ovarian reserve. With egg donation, the donor first undergoes a thorough exam that includes blood tests to check for sexually transmitted infections, drug use, and genetic conditions, as well as a psychological exam.

If the donor is deemed a healthy and suitable candidate, she takes fertility medications to stimulate the growth of multiple eggs and her eggs are then retrieved in the same fashion as in an IVF procedure. Freshly harvested eggs or frozen/thawed eggs are combined with a partner’s or donor’s sperm in an IVF lab. The high-quality embryos are selected for transfer into the woman’s uterus. The pregnancy success rate with donor eggs is related to the egg donor’s age provided that the recipient woman has a normal receptive uterus.

Gestational surrogacy

Gestational surrogacy, another form of third-party reproduction, is a viable option to build a family when woman’s uterus is not receptive for embryo implantation, or she has a medical condition endangering her and baby’s health or post-hysterectomy. Gestational surrogacy process is complicated from a legal standpoint and therefore assistance from an experienced lawyer is always recommended. In this type of surrogacy, the woman who is seeking a child still produces viable eggs that can be retrieved and combined with the father’s sperm. The embryo is then implanted in the uterus of the gestational carrier or gestational surrogate, who carries and delivers the baby

Global Fertility & Genetics is a top reproductive endocrinology and infertility center in New York City. Their specialists have helped couples from around the world overcome infertility through assisted reproductive technologies (ART) including IVF, egg donation, and surrogacy. Call or make an appointment online to find out how they can help you have a baby.

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