In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a process by which an egg is fertilised by sperm outside the body: in vitro.

Answers with Dr Gary Swift

A query went out across the cyber world and raised a lot of responses…

I am trying to conceive my 1st child at 45 and have had multiple miscarriages. My RE recommends no intervention. He said that the most aggressive form of intervention is IVF and the success rate (using one’s own eggs) at my age is miniscule. He says our best bet is to try naturally (although the success rate is low).

I really like our RE, however, I’m considering getting a second opinion… It seems to me that using fertility drugs to produce more eggs might help us “catch” one of the few remaining good eggs. Our RE says that there is no evidence that superovulation therapy helps women at my age.

I am wondering if there are others out there in the same boat…

In a recent conversation with Dr Gary Swift about fertility we were able to raise this query and his response is shown below…

By the time a woman reaches 45 years of age the success rates with Assisted Reproductive technologies effectively approaches zero unless couples consider donor eggs from younger women or donated embryos from couples who have completed their families after IVF treatments.

Pregnancies at and over 45 occur but they are “very uncommon” and most use the term “sporadic”. Healthy babies can certainly result and most practicing Obstetricians I am sure can mention the occasional cases seen.

Miscarriage rates and genetic abnormalities like Down’s Syndrome become very common (approx 10% risk at 44yo).

Assisted Reproductive interventions are possible, but as mentioned have no evidence to support an increased “take home baby rate” and in all medical treatments the risks of medications and interventions needs to be weighed against the potential for successful outcome.

It can be a source of frustration but unfortunately is a biological fact.

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