Age and Infertility
As women age, the ability to both becoming pregnant and to carry a pregnancy to term decreases due to many biological changes taking place inside their bodies. It is a scientific fact that women are born with a set number of eggs in their ovaries. In other words, eggs do not reproduce themselves like sperm do. Since the moment of birth, the egg supply starts to decline through a fast paced process called apoptosis. The medical science has not found yet the cause of this rather wasteful process.
From age 30 to 35, the chances of becoming pregnant gradually decline. After age 40, the chance of pregnancy decrease sharply. Even if a woman becomes pregnant at a later age, the chances of miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down Syndrome, increase with age. In fact, the success rates of all assisted reproductive technologies, including in vitro fertilization, are lower as maternal age increases.
Fertility potential in females declines during the mid to late thirties. This decline in fecundity translates into a decline in the number of eggs available for reproduction, increase in medical conditions such as: endometriosis, ovulation becomes irregular, the eggs become resistant to fertilization by sperm and tend to have more chromosomal abnormalities.
As part of the infertility evaluation at our center, a full hormonal profile will be ordered before prescribing any treatment. The assessment of the so called “ovarian reserve” is a key component to the success of any infertility treatment. Once the blood results are obtained, Dr. Gomez will discuss the options for increasing your chances for pregnancy including: ovulation inducing medications, intrauterine inseminations (IUI), assisted reproductive technologies (IVF, ICSI, assisted hatching) or the use of an egg donor when other therapies are inappropriate or unsuccessful.