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Age and IVF Success
It’s no secret that fertility declines as women get older. As a result, IVF success rates are lower in older women as well. “But as our technology has improved over the last several years, the impact of the mother’s age has become much less of an issue,” says Dr. Jeffrey Klein, of RMA of NY, “Though it certainly remains an important consideration.”
A decline in egg quality and quantity is the biggest issue facing women who are older than 35. There is an increase in the number of eggs that are chromosomally abnormal, so they are less likely to successfully produce a healthy, viable embryo. Additionally, the number of eggs that remain in the ovarian reserves also decreases, making fewer eggs available for during IVF.
However, technological advances have helped to overcome some of these limitations. IVF success rates have steadily improved for women of all reproductive ages. “In addition, our ability to test embryos for chromosomal analysis is greatly refined. Due to newer technologies, there is a greatly improved ability to screen embryos for chromosomal abnormalities, which are felt to be the primary cause of the age-related decline in fertility and increase in miscarriage rates,” Klein says.
It is also important to remember that there are other issues that may affect the success of the IVF process in mature mothers. The overall health of the mother is always a critical factor in the ability to successfully complete a pregnancy, and underlying medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension, which sometimes accompany aging, need to be kept in mind. “Any woman considering a pregnancy needs to be aware of their overall health and should undergo a thorough physical examination with all appropriate diagnostic testing by their physician in order to be aware of any conditions that might lead to complications in their pregnancy,” Klein says.
To learn more about Age and IVF Success, check out Dr. Klein’s blog on FertilityAuthority.com.