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Incidence of Chaotic Blastoycsts Increase as Women Age

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A recent study revealed a “dramatic shift in the number of chromosomal errors in blastocysts from women 40 and older, as a result of severe chromosome instability.”

“When eggs get older the machinery to split the chromosomes gets more and more unstable and more and more errors occur even in the same embryo,” says Dr. William Schoolcraft, Founder and Medical Director of Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM). CCRM researchers analyzed 9,030 blastocysts (day 5 embryos) that were determined to be aneuploid following comprehensive chromosomal screening (CCS). The study showed that as women age fewer chromosomes have one error, and the likelihood increases of having chaotic blastocysts -- those with three or more errors.

The study, published in Fertility and Sterility in October 2015, provides the following data:

Maternal Age % Aneuploidy % Single Error % Double Error % Chaotic
35-37 41.6 73.7 18.1 8.3
38-40 55.6 63.9 23.4 12.7
41-42 73.6 52.1 27.1 20.8
43 and older 85.3 36.7 28.5 34.8

Researchers concluded, “Understanding the association between advanced maternal age and chromosomal instability is valuable when counseling patients and managing their expectations prior to undergoing infertility treatment.”

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