More and more women are having children later in life; there are many reasons—from career decisions to health concerns to personal choice. Advancements in medical technology and expertise now provide an increasing number of options for women who desire to get pregnant after the age of 35.
Fertility Declines with Age
A woman has her best chance of conceiving in her 20s. A gradual decline in fertility begins when a woman turns 30, and the decline increases rather dramatically after age 35. This is due to normal, age-related changes that happen in the ovaries. A woman is born with all of the eggs she will ever have, and as she ages both the number and health of the eggs decreases. Too many or too few chromosomes in the egg can cause issues such as miscarriage and genetic disorders.
Treating Age-Related Fertility Issues
Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which to extend the biological clock. We will discuss each option with you and decide together which to pursue. They include:
- Fertility medications
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
- In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
- Donor eggs
- Egg freezing
Now you can take active steps to increase your chances of having a genetically related, healthy child later in life through egg freezing. It is a relatively straightforward process that generally begins with birth control pills to down-regulate the ovaries, then a transition to ovarian stimulation medication (injections) for approximately 10 days to develop the follicles and prepare the eggs for retrieval. The retrieval involves minimal discomfort, and takes only 20 minutes. The eggs are then placed in an incubator, prepared, and frozen for future use.