Until the last several years, the common wisdom was that all the wonderful advances at improving the “take home baby” rate for the infertile mainly benefited women under the age of 35. Women over the age of 38 to 40 were encouraged (pushed?) to use donor eggs or, to a lesser degree, donor embryos. Medical science had little to offer them. It’s nice to be able to report that this stubborn fact is beginning to change. On this week’s Creating a Family show, Dr. Marcy Maguire, a reproductive endocrinologist at RMA New Jersey, offered real hope for women over 40 to get pregnant and deliver a healthy baby.
Advances in Fertility Medicine Improves Odds for Women Over 40
The first advancement is the ability to test embryos for chromosomal abnormalities assures that only “normal” embryos will be transferred; thus decreasing the odds of miscarriage or delivery of a child with significant medical issues.
The second advancement seems less dramatic, but has provided huge benefits. Embryos created from older eggs often grow slightly slower than embryos created from eggs from women under the age of 35. The implantation window (the period of time that the uterus is receptive to an embryo implanting) is not slower in older women. This creates a timing problem. The huge advances in embryo freezing combined with the advances in culturing embryos and allowing them to grow longer in the lab, makes it more likely that embryos from older moms can be transferred the next month at the perfect time to maximize the chances of implantation. Cool!
Both of the medical developments require in vitro fertilization (IVF), but allow the possibility for women to use their own eggs.
Are you over 40 and considering trying to get pregnant? Have you ever felt pushed to move to donor egg more quickly than you were ready?
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