Infertility over 40
Life gets busy for women, some put there careers first others are just not ready for children until later in life. Before you know it pregnancy is unsuccessful. Studies show 1 in 5 women has her first child over 35 years of age. That’s why some women have turned to fertility treatments.
For women over 40, the fertility rate is just 5 - 10%. At 47 - 48, that drops to 1%. Some women turn to a donor egg. Others use a surrogate. A new study interviewed those women who used IVF after the age 40, almost half were shocked to find they needed fertility treatments.
Women are born with a finite number of eggs. Thus, as the reproductive years progress, the number and quality of the eggs diminish. The chances of having a baby decrease by 3% to 5% per year after the age of 30.
Female infertility can be also be caused by a number of factors, including the following:
Damage to the fallopian tubes. Damage to the fallopian tubes (which carry the eggs from the ovaries to the uterus) can prevent contact between the egg and sperm. Pelvic infections, endometriosis, and pelvic surgeries may lead to scar formation and fallopian tube damage.
Hormonal causes. Some women have problems with ovulation, hormonal changes leading to the release of an egg from the ovary and the thickening of the endometrium (lining of the uterus) in preparation for the fertilized egg do not occur.
Cervical causes. A small group of women may have a cervical condition in which the sperm cannot pass through the cervical canal.
Uterine causes. Abnormal anatomy of the uterus or the presence of polyps and fibroids.
If female infertility is suspected, your doctor may order several tests, including:
A blood test to check hormone levels
An endometrial biopsy to check the lining of the uterus
Two diagnostic tests that may be helpful in detecting scar tissue and tubal obstruction are hysterosalpingography and laparoscopy.
Hysterosalpingography (HSG). This procedure involves either ultrasound or X-rays taken of the reproductive organs. Dye is inserted into the fallopian tubes to see if there is any blockages.
Laparoscopy. In this procedure, a laparoscope (a slender tube fitted with a fiberoptic camera) is inserted into the abdomen through a small incision near the belly button.
This enables the doctor to view the outside of the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes to detect abnormal growths, as in endometriosis.
If male infertility is suspected, a semen analysis is performed. This test will evaluate the number and health of his sperm. A blood test can also be performed to check his level of testosterone and other male hormones.
Medical therapy and in vitro fertilization (IVF) can increase the chance of pregnancy in women diagnosed with unexplained infertility.