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IVF Over 40

Age has a high impact on fertility and egg quality. Women are born with their lifetime supply of eggs which diminish in quantity and quality with age, and when a woman reaches 40, her chances of pregnancy significantly decline.

Our approach is to focus on your personal family building goals and individual fertility healthcare needs, to design a tailored treatment plan. We can offer treatment options which can optimise your chance of success depending on your goals and your fertility needs.  

What are the key elements which influence the success of IVF treatment?

  • Embryo quality - Many IVF treatments are unsuccessful as the embryos fail to implant or the pregnancy ends in spontaneous miscarriage. The reason for this is that many of the transferred embryos are not chromosomally normal.  Research suggests that more than 50% of human eggs have chromosomal problems and that this increases with age, so it’s likely to be the main reason older patients have fewer chromosomally normal embryos.

  • Successful selection of the chromosomally normal embryos. We use our own Caremaps embryo selection technique, or we can also use pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT-A) to identify the embryos with the highest potential for success

  • The receptivity and health of the endometrium. The uterine lining must be receptive to embryo implantation. When transferring an embryo, the endometrium must be in a receptive state to allow successful implantation - this period of receptivity is called the window of implantation, and it varies between different people. We can test to assess both endometrial health and the best time for embryo transfer

When you are considering fertility treatment, we will be completely open and realistic with you about which of our treatments offer you the best chance of success and what your own individual chances of success are. We will only recommend treatment that suits your needs, with complete transparency at all times.

What are my chances of success with IVF for over 40s using my own eggs?

Women over 40 have fewer eggs in their ovaries which means fewer embryos will be created. This, combined with diminishing quality of the eggs, leads to lower IVF success rates. We advise caution attempting IVF with your own eggs because of the lower chances of success.

What are the chances of success for IVF with donor eggs over 40?

Use of donor eggs gives a much more realistic chance of having a baby as egg donors are younger than 35, and the chances of successful treatment are higher.

Some tests and techniques we may recommend

Pre-implantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A), is a genetic screening test performed on embryos produced during an IVF treatment cycle. PGT-A assesses chromosome numbers in developing embryos, to identify the embryos which are chromosomal normal. PGT-A does not improve embryo quality but it does give us information about your embryo's genetic health to help us select viable embryos for transfer, which can reduce the time to pregnancy. 

We can use ERA to assess the optimum time to transfer your embryo so that it has the best chance of implanting and establishing a pregnancy. The womb lining (or endometrium) is only receptive to implantation for a short period, known as the implantation window.

The main benefit of the ERA test is that we can provide a personalised embryo transfer timing, optimising the chances of implantation.

Endometrial health is one of the key factors which can impact reproductive health, in fact studies have shown that as high as 20% of fertility problems are potentially caused by issues with the endometrium.

EMMA and ALICE are screening tests that assess bacteria in the uterine cavity. We can recommend various approaches depending on test results, including probiotic treatment to balance the endometrial flora.

Support with Care

Fertility treatment can be stressful, and sometimes people need additional support. Counselling is always available. You may also like to reach out to someone going through the same thing as you. On our Care Forum, you can chat with other patients going through a similar journey or just find reassurance that you are not alone.

Our new patient enquiry team is there to answer all your questions when you’re thinking about fertility treatment, and our Carepals teams will guide and support you on your treatment journey.

Becoming a Care patient

If you have any questions, or if you’d like to talk to one of our team about your options, it’s easy to get started: