Infertility/Fertility/Conceiving after 45
Dr Ramirez, What are the chances of a 45 year old woman conceiving using IVF with her own eggs? Would it be worth trying or would you recommend using donor eggs?
Hello Amy from the UK,
There are always exceptions to the rule, however, the chances of pregnancy, even with IVF, are very slim. In the 2012 National summary produced by our Centers for Disease Control (CDC), based on IVF reporting data, the national averages for women >44 years old is 5% pregnancy rate and 2% delivery rate. This, of course, is an average and the statistics can be different for different centers. There have been pregnancies over 44 years old but they are very few. In my center, the oldest patient to get pregnant using her own eggs (as opposed to using donor eggs) is 44 years old.
I tell my patients that only God can determine who will be the exception to the rule, but if you don't try, then you have a 0% from the start. However, if you decide to try, you have to go in with the understanding that your chances are slim. Until you try, you won't know the outcome. If you want a better chance, the donor eggs will be much better.
I have a 45 year old patient contemplating this now who is leaning toward trying at least once because she wants to reassure herself that she has done everything possible to have another child (she has one already). I told her, and you should understand this too, that IVF is not a perfect technology even in young women, and like trying naturally, it can take several tries. So if you want to be absolutely sure that you tried your very best with IVF, then you need to be prepared to try several times.
As to whether or not it is worth it, that is a totally individual decision. The worthiness of something is defined by yourself.
Dr. Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG
Executive Medical Director
The Fertility and Gynecology Center
Monterey Bay IVF Program
Monterey, California, U.S.A.
for additional information check out my blog at http://womenshealthandfertility.blogspot.com
check me out on twitter with me at @montereybayivf and facebook @montereybayivf. Skype and internet comprehensive consultations now available via my website for those who want a more extensive evaluation that this site can accommodate. I also now provide an Email Concierge Advisory Service with a 1 year subscription for patients that want easy access to me to answer questions along their journey (women's health, infertility, pregnancy). Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in continuous access to me.