Women are being advised to use donor eggs when trying to get pregnant through in-vitro fertilization once they reach age 44, and this is because using your own eggs only gives you a 1.3% success rate. Researchers in Spain found out that women over 44 had a 1.3% chance with their own eggs, while women who were between 38 and 39 years old had about a 24% chance of getting pregnant.
Dr. Marta Devesa who works at Hospital Universitari Quirón-Dexeus in Barcelona, Spain, said that if women freeze their eggs by the time they are age 35, then they will be able to use their own eggs with a much higher success rate, and then they won’t have to look at donor eggs once they are over age 44. Obviously, donor eggs is still a viable and healthy option, since the women who choose to donate their eggs are younger, which means there is a higher rate of success with in-vitro fertilization.
The comments from Devesa are coming at the heels of a 12-year study that is showing live birth rates, which looked at over more than 4,000 births, are drastically down among women who are in their mid-40s. Women who are about age 42 and 43 only saw a live birth rate success of about 6.6 percent, so the prognosis for women above age 44 is futile. Women who were around age 41 saw a success rate with in-vitro fertilization at 15.6%, so just within a year the success rate gets cut in half, and by 44 it’s almost nonexistent.
There are a lot of women that are not aware of how much fertility changes after the age of 35, with some women believing that they can still get pregnant easily well into their 40’s, and this is simply not true. A study from the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority in the UK has also published numbers with similar results, which showed that IVF success under the age of 35 is 32%, while women who were over age 45 only had a 1.9% success rate. This sudden drop in fertility in women is thought to be caused by genetic damage that builds up in the older eggs, which is something that cannot be undone or changed. The latest studies and figures hopefully will start getting the message out about realistic expectations when it comes to starting a family above age 40, which was a sentiment echoed by Stuart Lavery, a consultant at Hammersmith Hospital.
While there are plenty of women out there who are able to have children well into their 40s, this is often done through donor eggs and a lot of IVF treatments, which is not like the fairytale stories the media tries to make it out to be. Women who are above even age 35 find themselves struggling for years to get pregnant, often resorting to donor eggs a few years into the IVF process, but this is thousands of dollars and hours into the process. This study and the researchers hope to have women understand that after age 44, it’s futile to be using your own eggs, and that it’s a lot easier to just use the eggs of a younger donor woman, especially if you are getting into that 44 range where the success rate becomes a little less with each passing moment.
The researchers also hope that women will begin to think about having children younger, even if they are not ready, just so that they can freeze their eggs to use later in life. If women who are about 30 decide to freeze their eggs, whether or not the intent to have kids is there or not, then it will be a lot easier down the road because they will have their own young eggs to use during the i|IVF process. While you might think that freezing your eggs is taboo or not something that should be talked about, it is going to have to become a standard issue you talk to your doctor about, especially if you are career minded and not even thinking about children during your early 30’s. Even if you do not use the eggs later on in life, at least you know that you have them, and this is a part of your life that you cannot get back once you let it go.