Now that it takes longer to establish one’s career and find a suitable life partner, women are delaying starting a family until their late 30s and early 40s, the very time when a woman’s fertility starts to decline. As a result, women over 40 are turning to IVF, and in the second article of her two-part series covering the topic, New York Times columnist Jane Brody writes about the sometimes misleading promise of IVF over 40. (You can read the full article here.) To summarize, Brody advises patients to be realistic about IVF when at an advanced maternal age; biology does not lie and the younger the woman going through IVF is, the better the chance she has at getting pregnant and giving birth to a healthy baby.
There is no doubt that patients over 40 present more challenging IVF cases, and many patients do fail to conceive, especially when undergoing the standard IVF stimulation protocol. But at Hanabusa IVF’s San Diego fertility clinic we take a different approach. We are skilled at helping women who have both diminished ovarian reserve and high FSH. These patients are perfect candidates for our Minimal Stimulation IVF or Natural Cycle IVF approach. While this does require a significant time commitment—patients do not produce the same amount of eggs each month and so need to undergo numerous cycles in order to have a successful pregnancy—it is more patient-friendly. No anesthesia is needed and drug costs are lower, two factors that make our minimal stimulation IVF less stressful than the more traditional approach.
Certainly it is not easy to achieve pregnancy via IVF when one is over 40, but it is not impossible, especially when using our minimal stimulation approach to IVF which aims to be patient-friendly and low stress, making the health and well-being of the mother of utmost importance.