Fertility treatment and your age

Embryo,_8_cellsWhen people talk about IVF success rates, it isn’t always clear quite how important it is to take your age into consideration. Of course, your individual situation plays a role too, but if there is one key factor that you need to think about when you want to know how likely it is that IVF might work for you, it’s your age.

National Success Rates

The HFEA (Human Fertiilisation and Embryology Authority) publishes updated success rates for fertility treatment each year, and gives a breakdown by age. This shows quite clearly the impact age has on your chances of success with fertility treatment using your own eggs.

  • 32.2% for women under 35
  • 27.7% for women aged 35-37
  • 20.8% for women aged 38-39
  • 13.6% for women aged 40-42
  • 5.0% for women aged 43-44
  • 1.9% for women aged 45+

For older women using donor eggs, the success rates are higher as it is the egg quality and quantity which declines with age.

Feeling young at forty

If you take care of yourself, eat well and exercise, you may feel ten years younger than your biological age as you approach forty – but unfortunately looking and feeling younger doesn’t mean that your eggs stay young too.  Looking after yourself can have an impact when you are having treatment, but it can’t turn back the biological clock.

Of course, it is only human to focus on the 5% success for a woman of 43, but the other side of this statistic is that 95% of IVF cycles for women of this age will not work. Going into treatment with your eyes open and being aware of these age-related success figures is important for anyone considering fertility treatment.

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