More women are delaying pregnancy until later in life. While this has its advantages, it also has disadvantages in that advanced maternal age can affect a woman’s fertility. Women over the age of 40 can get pregnant safely, but there are risks.
Egg quality and quantity diminish with age. Because of this, older women may find it more difficult to get pregnant and carry the pregnancy to term. Women over the age of 55 are at a higher risk of health problems associated with pregnancy late in life. With planning and guidance, advanced maternal age does not have to be an issue.
Options for Conception
Older women may have difficulty conceiving due to age or other fertility issues. Medications that trigger ovulation may be helpful in these instances. When ovulation is regulated and you know exactly when it is going to occur, sperm can be introduced naturally or artificially at just the right time. This increases the rate of success.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) may be necessary to help the process. High quality sperm are hand selected, washed and then inserted directly into the uterus. This procedure eliminates many of the obstacles sperm encounter when trying to reach the uterus naturally.
Another option for patients with advanced maternal age is in vitro fertilization (IVF). When there are difficulties in conceiving naturally, a couple may choose IVF where fertilization takes place in the laboratory. When an embryo is formed, it is then transferred back into the mother’s uterus where it grows into a baby.
When egg quality and quantity are of concern, and IVF may be questionable, donor eggs may be recommended. This can be a good option for women of advanced maternal age who still would like to become pregnant and carry it to term. Healthy eggs are retrieved from the donor, then combined with the selected sperm to create an embryo. The embryo is then transferred into the prospective mother’s uterus.
Advanced maternal age can pose challenges for older women desiring to start a family. We understand at Neway Fertility and will do all we can to help your dream come true. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our fertility specialists, and discover your options.