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Advanced Family Planning

Written in Partnership with HRC Fertility, December 29, 2015

You’re a woman over the age of 35. You’re fertile. You’ve had one child and you want to have to have at least one more. But you know that fertility declines with age. You might want to consider “advanced family planning.”

Advanced family planning, as Dr. Michael Feinman calls it, is in essence fertility preservation for couples who want to have several children. “These women are over 35, they’re not infertile and they want more than two or even three children. They reason that if they get pregnant now, by the time they try again they could be too old to get pregnant. So they store PGD tested embryos that they created with their husband,” says Feinman, a fertility doctor with HRC Fertility in California.

“The philosophical idea is that they’re fertile, they expect to get pregnant now, but they know they may not get pregnant naturally ever again,” he adds.

As women age, fertility declines due to the decrease in the number of eggs and the quality of the eggs. With genetic testing, embryos that are created in an IVF cycle can be biopsied to determine if they are normal (euploid) or abnormal (aneuploid). Some women choose to undergo multiple IVF cycles to get a maximum number of normal embryos.

The euploid embryos are frozen, and transferred in a frozen embryo transfer when the couple is ready to get pregnant again. Success rates increase when you implant normal embryos, regardless of the woman’s age. However, getting normal embryos is more difficult as they age, Feinman explains.

Feinman says women who are choosing advanced family planning are highly motivated, affluent women who can afford IVF. The majority have good ovarian reserve and many are Modern Orthodox. Their motivation is to have more children past their age of likely success, Feinman says.

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