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Getting Pregnant in Your 40s

Written in Partnership with HRC Fertility, July 17, 2015

While it might seem hard to believe, women are considered to be of “advanced reproductive age” if they are 35 or older. This is due to the decline in the number and quality of a woman’s eggs after the age of 35, says Dr. David Tourgeman. But fertility treatments can greatly increase the ability to carry and deliver a child in your 40s and even your 50s.

Women age 40 to 45 only have a five percent chance of getting pregnant naturally each month. “Because time is limited, patients greater than 40 years old should consider seeking a specialist for guidance and being as aggressive in their treatment as possible,” says Tourgeman, a fertility doctor with HRC Fertility in Encino and West Los Angeles, CA.

Intrauterine insemination does not seem to increase pregnancy rates significantly; in women over 40, the success rates of IUI with fertility drugs is also approximately 5 percent per cycle. However, IVF with a woman’s own eggs or with donor eggs significantly increases the odds of having a baby. At Tourgeman’s practice, In women 41 to 42 years old, the pregnancy rates are about 25% per IVF cycle. And egg donation in this age group has higher success rates (as high as 70-80%) and lower miscarriage rates.

“Egg donation is a good option in the case of premature ovarian failure, when women of advanced reproductive age have attempted IVF and produce a low number or poor quality embryos, or with repeated IVF failures,” Tourgeman explains.

“At HRC Fertility, the cut off for using an egg donor is 55 years old, primarily because of increasing medical complications in pregnancy. In women 50 to 55 years old, we do more stringent pre-egg donation screening to make sure it is medically safe to proceed,” he adds.


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