Fertility treatment for women over 40

Private IVF treatment would cost the couple ?5,000 which they can't affordNow 8,000 more women a year could have the chance to become mothers without having to pay ?5,000 to private clinics.Fertility experts said the recommendations may encourage more women to delay having babies until middle age, which puts both mother and child at risk. However, fewer than a quarter of these women said they would have tried to get pregnant earlier if they had more information about declining fertility, the study found.
Three-quarters of the women said they felt lucky about successfully conceiving through IVF. The researchers noted that their study participants were a selected group of women, and the study was retrospective.
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infertility affects nearly 12 percent of reproductive-age women in the U.S. When the researchers probed into why the study participants held mistaken beliefs about fertility, 28 percent said that incorrect information from friends, doctors or the media reinforced the idea that older women could easily become pregnant. However, the trend of women delaying childbearing has continued, and data show that IVF can only partly offset fertility declines. Pass it on: Half of women over age 40 were surprised to discover they required IVF treatments to conceive.
Karen came to LiveScience in 2010, after writing for Discover and Popular Mechanics magazines, and working as a correspondent for the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Nice is also considering how to ensure that lesbians and single women have the same rights as heterosexual couples for treatment if they are thought to be infertile, and whether to end rules denying treatment to those whose partners have children.
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The study, published in the Irish Medical Journal, show one in eight 40-42-year-olds succeeded in becoming pregnant with IVF or similar treatment, compared with just one in 20 in the 43-45 year age group.

Just over 2 per cent of women aged 43-45 years succeeded in having a baby after availing of fertility treatment.
Children born to women over 40 are more likely to have abnormalities, and mothers are more likely to have problems during labour.Nearly half of all pregnancies in women aged 40 to 42 result in miscarriage.
Studies that follow women forward over time, and test other populations are needed to confirm the results.
Part of the reason for this is cultural trend of women delaying childbearing, according to the study.
Researchers have been slow to get information about fertility declines out to the public, according to the study.
A public education campaign that the ASRM undertook between 2000 and 2002 was criticized for pressuring women to have children before they were ready, and for undermining women's efforts to become educated and have careers. The Health Service may have to scrap controversial age limits for IVF to avoid the threat of being sued under age discrimination laws.
Its current guidance says that infertile women aged between 23 and 39 should be offered three cycles of IVF treatment free on the NHS, but many primary care trusts cannot afford to fund that many.
The cut-off age in the clinic for assisted reproductive technology, which includes IVF, is 45 years. Over this period, the proportion of women in this category grew from 7 per cent to almost 20 per cent.
One in five women now has her first child after age 35, an eightfold increase compared with a generation ago. For example, a 1982 report from French researchers was the first large study to show a decline in artificial insemination success rates as women aged, but it wasn't until 2000 that the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommended that women over 35 trying to conceive be counseled and treated more quickly than younger women.

In future, trusts may decide whether women can have free IVF cycles by testing how many eggs they have left  -  their 'ovarian reserve'  -  rather than imposing a blanket ban over the age of 40. Clare Lewis-Jones, chief executive of the Infertility Network, said: 'I think measuring ovarian reserve is a better way to make rationing decisions than age, but I would be concerned if any women interpreted this as meaning that age is not the key factor which determines their chances. Last night critics said that encouraging women to have babies in middle age would put both mother and child at risk. THE IVF GAME OF CHANCE Guidance issued by the health watchdog Nice says all infertile women aged between 23 and 39 should be able to get free fertility treatment on the NHS. Age is still the number one factor which determines fertility.' Dr Gillian Lockwood, a fertility doctor and vice-chairman of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, criticised 'confused thinking' within Nice. She said: 'It is not clear whether they are trying to design a mechanism to protect themselves from the anti-discrimination lobby, or trying to set criteria which give women the best chance of a successful pregnancy. Some primary care trusts have restricted access to fertility treatment, either by saying women can only have one or two cycles, or bringing down the maximum age.
It is very unfair at the moment.' And Dr Marco Gaudoin, of the Glasgow Centre for Reproductive Medicine, said many older women could have children through IVF.

Stages of pregnancy coloring book
Pregnancy at 41 weeks

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