IVF and Fertility Specialists Clinic
Fertility After Age 40 - IVF in the 40s
At age 40 and above women have reduced fertility potential as compared to that seen in younger women. They also have substantially lower success rates with fertility treatments including in vitro fertilization (IVF).
There is nothing special about "40" as far as an age is concerned. However, perhaps because we have five fingers on our hands we tend to think in fives and tens. Therefore, it seems sometimes that for women the ages 35 and 40 are a big deal.
When couples are trying on their own to get pregnant the fertility issue that reduces chances for success is related to the quality of the eggs. With treatments such as IVF, the issue that holds back success potential is both egg quality and egg quantity.
Age Limits for IVF Treatments
How Does Egg Quality Affect Fertility and IVF?
The quality of the egg is the most critical factor involved in determining the quality of the embryo. With IVF treatment we hope to get multiple embryos so we can choose the best ones from a group for transfer back to the uterus.
A big part of the "egg quality" equation involves the chromosomal status of the egg. The rate of chromosomal abnormalities in eggs (and therefore also in embryos) increases significantly with advancing female age. Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) can be used to test embryos for chromosomally normalcy (euploidy) prior to transferring them to the uterus. Embryos that have normal chromosomal analysis after PGS have a very high potential for implantation and live birth.
How Does Egg Quantity Affect Fertility and IVF Success Rates?
The quantity of eggs remaining in a woman's ovaries is often referred to as "ovarian reserve".
The quantity of remaining eggs probably does not have a large impact on natural fertility (trying to get pregnant "naturally"). However, when going through a fertility treatment such as IVF, the quantity of eggs remaining influences response to ovarian stimulating medications.
In Vitro Fertilization Success Rate Statistics by Female Age - and After Age 40
The graphs below are from the 2012 ART Success Rates report published by the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a US government agency. This report was generated from national data from hundreds of clinics and well over 100,000 IVF cycles.
The graph above illustrates infertility increasing with advancing female age.
Another point shown here is that there not a substantial decline in success by age of the recipient woman with donor egg IVF.
In Vitro Fertilization Success Statistics from the CDC for Age 40 and Over
All clinics have some upper age limit after which they will not perform in vitro fertilization with the woman's own eggs.
IVF age limits are not the same at every program
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