TTC in Your 40s and Beyond
Yes, You Can: TTC in Your 40s and Beyond
For some women, the best time for motherhood comes later in life. While women’s fertility declines as they grow older, it’s still possible to get pregnant at 40 or older – you just may need a little bit of expert help while you’re trying to conceive (TTC). Today’s advanced fertility treatments make it possible for women of any age to have a baby. If you’re TTC in your 40s and beyond, our infertility specialists offer options to help you create the family you have dreamed of.
For women 40 or better who are trying to conceive, you have about a 44% chance of conceiving if you try for a year. The challenge often comes from a low supply of good-quality eggs. Because women are born with all the eggs they will ovulate each month over their lifetimes, by the time they reach 40, their egg supply is likely running low. Egg quality also declines through the years, making it harder to conceive a baby and potentially creating genetic problems in a developing fetus. This is why you may hear the term “advanced maternal age” mentioned as a common cause of infertility in women.
The good news is, a mature or menopausal woman’s body is just as capable of carrying a pregnancy as a younger woman’s, and age-related fertility challenges can often be overcome with the right fertility treatments.
Fertility treatments for TTC in your 40s and beyond
If you are TTC in your 40s and beyond, you may not need fertility treatment to conceive. But, it’s good to know that advanced fertility treatment options are available if you need them.
- Medication to prompt ovulation. For some women, prompting ovulation with ovarian-stimulating medication can make a world of difference. If we recommend a medicated cycle, you will be closely monitored in our office to optimize success and reduce your risk of becoming pregnant with twins or multiples.
- Intrauterine insemination, or IUI. This fertility treatment involves similar medications and monitoring as a medicated cycle, but with the added benefit of directly inseminating the uterus with sperm from the male partner or sperm donor. In addition to ensuring that insemination is timed exactly right, this procedure can also overcome additional challenges that happen when sperm count or quality is low.
- In vitro fertilization is a highly effective fertility treatment that can often overcome many causes of infertility, including low ovarian reserve associated with advanced maternal age. In IVF, the woman takes medications to prompt the maturation of multiple eggs at the same time, which are then retrieved and fertilized in our IVF laboratory using the partner’s or donor’s sperm. Any resulting embryos can then be transferred to the uterus one at a time, or frozen and stored for future use.
- Genetic testing of embryos. Called PGT, or preimplantation genetic testing, this process involves removing a few cells from embryos created through IVF so that they can be checked for chromosomal or genetic abnormalities. With PGT, we can ensure that only those embryos proven to be free of specific genetic defects are transferred to the uterus, increasing the chances of successful pregnancy and eliminating the risk of chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome.
- Donor eggs. For women with very low ovarian reserve who are not candidates for IVF with their own eggs, but who wish to experience the joy of pregnancy and birth, IVF using eggs from a donor has very high success rates for women of all ages. This procedure enables the hopeful father to have a biological connection to the child, and has helped countless thousands of families bring babies into the world later in life.
To determine the best treatment approach for you, our New England infertility specialists begin with fertility testing for both partners. Through blood tests and ultrasound exams, we can give you an accurate assessment of your remaining ovarian reserve, or egg supply, and create a targeted treatment plan to help you achieve your goal.
If you’re TTC in your 40s or beyond, it’s critical to seek assistance from our experienced team of reproductive endocrinologists as quickly as possible. Because time is of the essence, we will prioritize your care to maximize your chances of success. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our New England infertility specialists.