USC Fertility


What are options when your own eggs aren’t working?

Consider donor egg IVF

By Dr. Kristin Bendikson

20500598_sThe amazing thing about the female body is that although egg quality declines with age, the ability of the uterus to carry a pregnancy does not. A woman can carry a pregnancy well into her late 40s without any issue.
Over the age of 50 there does seem to be a rise in complications during pregnancy, with an increase in high blood pressure and diabetes in pregnancy, and an increased risk of preterm delivery and cesarean section. Many fertility clinics have cut-offs at age 50 or 53, at which point they require patients to use a surrogate to carry the pregnancy.
So if the eggs aren’t working but the uterus is, is donor egg IVF my only option?

In these situations, women can conceive and carry a pregnancy in one of two ways.

1. They can use an egg from an egg donor.

2. If they froze their eggs when they were younger, they can use those.

Pregnancy rates are predicated on the age of the egg, so if the egg is young the pregnancy rates are good no matter the age of the uterus. This is why women who are menopausal can get pregnant with donor egg IVF or her own eggs from a younger age. They aren’t using their own eggs at the age of 50; they are using their own eggs from when they were younger or they are using someone else’s eggs who is in her 20s.

Be proactive about fertility

If you are 40 or older and want to get pregnant, it is best for you to have a fertility evaluation right away to assess the chance for conception. Unlike women who are 30 who can try to conceive for a year without needing a fertility assessment, women over 40 have a ticking clock.

It is best to assess the ovaries right away. The information gained in a fertility assessment can help with family planning by determining how long to try on your own right now, or identify those women who should immediately proceed with fertility treatment.

Time is limited so make the best use of it

Understanding your fertility potential by having a consultation with a fertility specialist will arm you with the knowledge that helps you make educated decisions about your reproductive life and potential to have a baby. To learn more about donor egg IVF, contact our Los Angeles fertility center.

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