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5
April
2019

Age Matters – The Squared Role of Age In IVF

Age Matters- The Squared Role of Age In IVF

As we have settled in the 21st century, technology has spearheaded and entered into all the aspects of our life, including our bedroom. Thanks to the growth of science and the dedicated attention of science towards reproduction, there’s now more than one way to have children.

Dr. Ganesh (INDIRA IVF HOSPITAL) stated, “Artificial Insemination, Surrogacy, IVF, Cytoplasmic transfer, Nuclear transfer and Cloning are some of the ways a person can have babies now. One of the most popular methods among these is IVF. In Vitro Fertilisation is a step ahead of artificial insemination. In this, the eggs and sperm are taken from Male & Female and merged into a dish, where they are fertilised. The developed embryos are placed in the uterus of the woman”.

Why IVF?

IVF is an assisted reproductive facility, which treats infertility. Before opting for IVF, patients are advised to choose fertility medication and artificial insemination, as they are less invasive. You need to consider IVF if you or your partner has the following conditions:

  • Irregular Fallopian Tube: Certain blockages in the fallopian tube can make it difficult for the egg to enter and fertilise.
  • Unregulated Ovulation: If the female partner has absent ovulation, there may be a scarcity of eggs for fertilisation.
  • Ovarian failure: In rare cases, ovaries fail to produce an appropriate amount of estrogen, which may result in failure to produce eggs.
  • Endometriosis: The case where the tissues of the uterus that grow outside of the uterus is called Endometriosis. It affects the overall performance of the uterus.
  • Fibroids: Fibroids in the Uterine are common in women over the age of 30, and they affect the fertilisation of the egg.
  • Low sperm count: Abnormalities in sperm production/performance is one of the most common reasons for infertility in couples.
  • Genetics: Genetics play a significant role when it comes to reproduction, and so, if you have unfavourable genes which deny you the chance of natural pregnancy, then you can opt for IVF.

What are the odds against a successful IVF pregnancy?

There are a number of factors which come into play when you decide for IVF treatment. From lifestyle choices to the reasons for infertility, everything matters. A key role in it is played by the age of the woman who will be carrying the baby.

In the US, the upper limit for the right age for IVF who wish to carry the baby is 50 years, and the age for donation is 45 years. Patients who have frozen their eggs can have a transfer upto their 52nd birthday i.e. maximum age of IVF.

What is the right age for IVF treatment in India?

Dr. Nitasha Gupta (INDIRA IVF HOSPITAL) explained, “Women in their 20s and 30s experience the most successful IVF implantation. This is because of the viability of the eggs, which facilitates in natural fertilization”.

Assisted Reproductive Technology caters to all kinds of treatment of infertility. The reproductive organs of both male and female partners are subjected to a natural lapse with growing age.

Women in their 20s and early 30s who used ART had the most success with pregnancies and single live births. However, success rates declined steadily once a woman reached her mid-30s,” conclude public analyst Victoria Wright. “This is a reminder that age remains a primary factor concerning pregnancy success and younger women have greater success than older women, even with technology.”

As per the research conducted over 290 fertility clinics, 37% of women under age 35 had successful IVF implantation. The number decreased to 31% for women aged 35-37. Further, only 21% of women from the age of 38-40 could carry out artificial pregnancy. The number dropped to 11% among women aged 41-42, and it only remained to 4% for women over the age of 42%.

And so, the average success rate of IVF pregnancy is 27%. Out of which, women under the age of 35 are most likely to have positive outcomes.

There has been some modification in the natural limits of reproduction for women. With the help of hormonal treatments and donation, women who have achieved menopause can also pursue pregnancy.

The morbidity of the fetus increases with the age of the mother, and thus, the patient must be made aware of all the risks involved with old age pregnancy.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) clarify that the woman carrying the baby “should be a healthy woman (determined by medical and psychological examination) having normal genitalia (as determined by physical examination) and uterine cavity (as determined by hysterosalpingography).”

As per the guidelines of the Ministry of Health, Government of India, 2005, when it comes to reception of donated embryos, there is no upper age limit for IVF in India. But, the 2017 ICMR bill for Assisted Reproductive Technology has suggested the upper age limit for women to 45 and for men to be 50.

How does IVF over the age of 40 spans out?

Dr. Yogita Parihar (INDIRA IVF HOSPITAL), defined “As per research, the turning rate of IVF implantation shifts radically towards decline after women turn 37. This makes the age as the most significant factor that comes to play for women who wish to conceive through IVF.

The upper limit for a successful IVF implant in terms of age is 42-45 years. Once you cross the age of 43, patients are advised to seek eggs from the younger women”.

The eggs inside the ovaries of a woman are also subjected to a similar amount of ageing. The ageing eggs lose their capability of fertilisation, making their chances of implantation very slim. At the age of 30, women have about 12% of the 300,000 eggs that they are born with. By the age of 40, only 9000 of them remain. As soon as women reach the age of menopause (50-55), there are very less eggs remaining in the ovary, and their viability is questionable.

There are many risks involved when women who are over 40 seek pregnancy. As the overhaul hassles the entire body and risk both the mother and the baby.

IVF treatments cost a fortune and are a toll on the body and hence, age should be kept as the primary point of consideration. It is often advised to repeat the cycle to increase the chances of success.

You can of course consider the donation of embryo for your IVF procedure. The cost of donor eggs can range from ₹28000-42000, where the donation of embryo can range from ₹36000-54000.

Serious issues such as diabetes, preeclampsia, premature delivery are more likely to occur in the pregnancy of women over 40. The risk of miscarriage is also increased in older women.

Research says that 40% of the issues with infertility are caused due to problems in women’s reproductive system.

Some considerations against childbearing in couples of advanced age are:

  • Higher complications related to pregnancy
  • Life-threatening complication
  • Genetic abnormalities
  • Fetal mortality
  • Premature delivery
  • Compromised state of fitness

Some recommendations for advanced age pregnancy:

  • Health professionals are under complete liberty to decline service to older aged women seeking pregnancy due to the high risk involved, and so, it is essential to have your history checked out beforehand.
  • Patients should be advised about adoption before they opt for ART.
  • One should only proceed after all the underlining health checkups are done and the evaluation is pristine.
  • Men over 50 who wish to participate for the procedure should have their sperms evaluated.

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