Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Answers to IVF FAQs

IVF success is a lone predictive factor – age. Indirect proportionality between fertility and age determines the decrease in fertility with increase in age. So, older women have less IVF success rate. This is because, IVF success depends on number of good quality eggs retrieved from ovaries. With age, the ovarian reserve of women loses quality eggs.

Facts about a woman’s ovarian reserve –
  • A woman is born with total number of eggs that she would with every menstrual cycle.
  • Ovaries do not have abilities to produce new eggs.
  • The quality of eggs deteriorates with age.

Older women are considered under Advanced Maternal Age (AMA) and respond poorly to ART treatments. The success percentage of older women is 82 times less than women in their 20s. Reason is the chromosomal abnormalities in older women. Such women, who try to get pregnant, form genetically incompetent eggs with higher rates of anueploidy (the presence of wrong number of chromosomes). 

Subsequently, the embryos (even the Grade A) fail to implant in the uterus and sometimes even successful implantation might result in complications during pregnancy.

Women in their 40s can undergo IVF treatment but the chances of conceiving are reduced to 10 percent and chances of miscarriage are escalated to 50 percent. However, the older women can use the eggs of younger donors to increase the chances of conceiving.

This explains that the age of uterus plays less significant role than the age of the eggs. Younger the women, potential her eggs would be. So, women considering surrogacy, an alternative for a failed IVF cycle should understand that the age of your uterus is not hindering pregnancy. Rather, the problem is with embryo formed with incompetent eggs.

Few women query about the upper age limit for IVF treatment. Honestly, there is no age limit defined in the medical books. Before hitting menopause, women of any age can undergo IVF. But, they need to consider the limitation attached to the treatment, i.e., older women would have less success rates as compared to younger ones. If a woman wishes to use get pregnant after 40 with her own eggs then she might get disappointed with the failed IVF cycles.

There are certain drawbacks of using older eggs –
  1. There are chances of IVF cycle cancellation due to continuous retrieval of low quality eggs from an older ovary.
  2. Sometimes, the use of older eggs leads to failure of embryo formation.
  3. Higher risk of miscarriage
  4. Risk of having genetically abnormal child is much higher than younger women. 

Response of a woman to ovarian stimulation decreases with age. So, women need to be very careful planning their families. We at Pahlajani Pregnancy Care and IVF clinic would be happy to assist you and address your queries patiently. 

Dr Neeraj Pahlajani

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