Tag Archives: pregnancy over 40

Fertility at 40

In the last 40 years, fertility has changed tremendously. Scientific advancements such as IVF treatment have made it possible for women to freeze their eggs, receive donor eggs and give birth later in life.

Whether you’ve held off from having children due to professional advancement, relationship status or simply haven’t had the desire until now, when the urge for a child of your own takes hold, it’s difficult to think about anything else.

From genetic testing to donor eggs, discover the various fertility options available to you in this post. Fertility treatment could be your ticket to motherhood.

IVF

For those considering fertility over 40, IVF is the most common route. Standing for In Vitro Fertilisation, IVF uses hormone therapy to stimulate the ovary follicles before collecting and fertilising eggs. The fertilised eggs are then placed in a test tube to create embryos; this process is known as the treatment cycle and can take up to 6 weeks to complete.

Next, collected embryos will reside in an incubator for up to 7 days before being examined by a specialist for defects and flaws. The strongest embryos will be selected for transfer into the uterus where pregnancy should ideally occur.

As you approach the age of 40, your chances of getting pregnant naturally dip, this is because you produce fewer eggs and have a higher chance of genetic abnormalities which effect pregnancy and run the risk of miscarriage. While giving birth to a healthy child after the age of 40 is certainly not out of the question, it’s important to be aware of the risks.

Genetic Testing

And this is where genetic testing comes into focus.  As mentioned above, the risk of genetic abnormalities in embryos increases with age and as many as 90% of pregnancies encounter abnormalities past the age of 44.

Therefore, genetic testing provides women with key information on what to expect and will help prepare you for every eventuality. Using sophisticated techniques of aneuploidy screening, the test is particularly useful for women who have had unsuccessful IVF experiences in the past or are approaching their forties.

Genetic testing can help to identify chromosome abnormalities, detect over 100 of the most ubiquitous abnormalities and even help to improve pregnancy and live birth rate transfer as only the strongest embryo with normal chromosome features will be chosen.

Above all, the test serves as a sound indicator of whether or not chromosomes are abnormal, enabling women to make an informed choice about their future.

IVF with Donor Eggs

If you don’t have any of your own eggs available then IVF using donor eggs could be the best course of action. As the ovaries store of follicles begins to run out with older age, many people turn to donor egg IVF as an alternative. If you are approaching menopause and notice your periods are irregular / non-existent it may be time to consider this option.

If you decide that this is the route you wish to pursue then your chosen fertility clinic will be able to assist you with a range of options.

Situated in central London, The Bridge Centre is an established fertility clinic specialising in fertility for the over 40’s. Offering a plethora of fertility boosting treatments to women under and over the age of 40, contact The Bridge Centre to find out about their free open evenings. 

This is a collaborative post.   

Last Chances

Catherine is the owner of Borntolove.com and wonderfully supportive blogs, Pregnancy Over 44 and Baby After 40. I would like to be able to say that her story has a happy ending. Sadly, it doesn’t. What her story did do was spur her on to support other women trying to conceive much later in life.

I met my second husband when I was 49 years old. Despite using birth control, I had a surprise pregnancy!

I carried that special baby for 8 weeks before it ended in a horrible miscarriage. Since my husband had no children of his own, we decided to try again.

We even worked with an RE for a short time, with monitored natural cycles. There were more losses over the next few years.  I was patient, and persistent. I picked myself up after each loss, and I got back on that roller coaster ride again. I never missed an opportunity to try. While I came to accept the reality of my age, I never stopped believing it could happen, I never stopped hoping for a happy ending. I did what I could to protect my heart, to ignore the statistics and the naysayers, and yet be realistic to the fact that it might have already been too late for me.

Between 49 and 53 I experienced natural pregnancies six times… I fell pregnant for the final time at 53 years old. I would rather not make a big deal about my age. All I can claim is incredible luck and genetics (my great-grandmother had five children after 40 years of age!). How old I am will have no effect on your personal chances of success or failure. The menopause occurs in 25% of women by 47, 50% by 50, 75% by 52 years old. I know I took a big chance, but it was the choice I made for myself.

Very sadly, my final pregnancy ended at 15 weeks.

Not longer after, the menopause arrived.

Due to my age and history of loss (5 more losses during a previous marriage), we were turned down for donor egg, and turned down for foster care/adoption of infants. We had hoped to adopt from a teen family member, but the baby was born with Trisomy 18, lived her short life in hospital and passed away at 5 months.

I know we could have fought longer and harder, but for my own sanity, we decided it was time to stop. I still struggle with it though, and have sad moments.

I don`t want my story used to prove that “if you wait long enough you can get pregnant with your own eggs”. Because that very well may not be true for you. Most of you may not be willing or able to wait that long. You may not welcome parenthood that late in live. Or you may very well hit menopause long before you get the chance.

However, through my pregnancy blogs, I have helped so many women keep up their hope and find their own success – so I feel like I continue to bring well-loved, so-wanted babies into the world!