07.08.2014

Pregnancy after age 50 with own eggs

Healthy postmenopausal women shouldn’t be discouraged from pursuing pregnancy using donor eggs or embryos, one of the world’s largest organizations of reproductive medicine says. In a shift in its official stance on whether women of “advanced age” should be discouraged from achieving pregnancy, the ethics committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine now says that some women over 50 who are healthy and “well prepared” for child rearing are candidates to receive donated eggs. While the data on the risks to older women and their fetuses is still scant, it’s more reassuring than what was available in 2004, particularly in women aged 50 to 54, says committee chair Dr. Egg donations have made it possible for virtually any woman with a functioning uterus, regardless of how old she is, to have a baby, the committee says. Meanwhile, younger women are putting their eggs in cold storage, freezing them until they’re ready to try to have a baby. In at least one case, doctors in Canada have transferred an embryo created by in vitro fertilization and conceived with donor eggs into a 57-year-old woman.
Some say it is sexist to suggest age limits should be imposed on a woman’s right to bear children when no one imposes a biological deadline on men. The figure has more than doubled since 2008 when there were 69 births to women aged 50 and over. Getting pregnant can be hard at the best of times but when you're over a certain age unfortunately things can get even harder. Fortunately with the advances in fertility treatments there are plenty of options availble to help you to conceive and start a family.


We spoke to Professor Geeta Nargund, Medical Director at Create Health, to find out all you need to know about getting pregnant after 40 so you can be as prepared as you need. Not to paint a bleak picture but naturally risks are heightened in pregnancies after the age of 40. But there is no denying that the chances of getting pregnant naturally after the age of 40 significantly drop. Statistics from Baby Centre show: “At 40 your chance of conceiving within a year of beginning to try is about 40 to 50 percent, compared to a woman in her mid-30s, who has a 75 percent chance.
But don’t be disheartened there is a much more positive picture that has only just come into play.The NHS National Guidelines for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines have just had a recent update from their 2004 requirements of IVF only allowing women up to the age of 39 to have the treatment on the NHS.
However, in older women and women with low egg reserve (high FSH or low AMH levels), Natural and Mild IVF can be more successful than conventional IVF.This isn’t just reserved for heterosexual couples success rates are higher in single women and lesbian couples with the use of donor sperm.
Single women and lesbian couples can try insemination with donor sperm as the first option if their fallopian tubes are open as long as their egg reserve is not too low.
Natural IVF offers "drug-free" IVF with natural selection of eggs at a lower cost and with less side-effects and physical burden. Mild IVF uses fewer drugs (5-9 days only) in a woman's natural cycle with reduced side-effects and cost. Conventional IVF with suppression of ovaries is another option but may not be necessary for women over 40 and in fact may lead to unnecessary use of high stimulation and reduced response and quality of eggs.


The only difference in risk for the two age groups was that the older women had a marginally higher rate of developing high blood pressure. The risks of gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced high blood pressure and other complications increase the older the woman gets, and are particularly high after 55. A woman’s own egg supply and quality shrinks over time; at menopause she stops releasing eggs altogether. As a result, more people will be looking to have their freeze banked eggs or embryos thawed when they’re older and ready to be parents. Matt Gysler, president of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, says that, in addition to an increased risk of uterine growth restriction and hypertensive disorders, pregnancy in older age places a significant stress on a woman’s cardiovascular system because of increased blood volume and increased blood flow. A woman’s egg supply is naturally going to decrease as she ages and with the eggs that remain there is a heightened chance of chromosomal problems like Down's Syndrome, birth defects and miscarriage.
Any higher, Dr Paulson says, and the physical, emotional and financial toll could be too much for the woman.'I lose my own personal comfort zone when you get over 60,' he admitted.



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