Female fetuses have over six million eggs in their ovaries while still inside their mother’s uterus. When a fetus is about five months old, her eggs start disintegrating. At birth, girls typically have about two million eggs in their ovaries. Atrophy of eggs continues throughout puberty, leaving women of reproductive age with around 300,000 eggs. During the final years of perimenopause (between 45 and 50), many of a woman’s remaining eggs cannot be fertilized because they are not viable. In addition, some of these last few eggs have begun atrophying. That’s why the chance of miscarriage or having a child with a chromosomal disorder increases significantly for women in their 40s. Enhancing fertility with ovulation induction, IUI or IVF are three popular assisted reproductive technologies older women to rely on to get pregnant.
How Possible Is It to Achieve a Natural Pregnancy at 43?
According to Parents Magazine, women over 40 have a five percent chance of getting pregnant over the course of a menstrual cycle. Women in their late 20s and early 30s have a 20 percent chance of becoming pregnant.
In addition to having a poorer quality of eggs, women in their 40s start to have irregular periods as ovaries beginning preparing for menopause. Irregular or missing menstrual cycles make it harder for women to predict their ovulation date or to detect physical signs they are ovulating (body temperature, cervical mucus). Although it is possible to become pregnant at 43 through sexual intercourse, the chance for conception drops steeply at this age until a woman clinically enters menopause. It is not unusual for women postponing pregnancy until their 40s to spend a year or more trying to get pregnant naturally.
In Vitro Fertilization for Women in their 40s
If you are over 40 and are having difficulty conceiving, you may be a good candidate for IVF, an assisted reproductive technology for women with age-related diminished ovarian reserve. In vitro fertilization involves your fertility doctor prescribing ovulation induction medications to help regulate menstrual cycles so that eggs are released and removed via a minimally invasive procedure. Determining the quality of eggs involves examining the condition of chromosomes inside the eggs. Well over half of all eggs taken from women in their 40s present indicators of chromosomal abnormalities.
Doctors place the best quality eggs in a lab dish to be combined with sperm. If an embryo develops, the doctor transfers the embryo to the uterus. Two weeks after the IVF procedure, the patient is given a pregnancy test to see if the embryo implanted itself in the uterine wall.
Learn more about pregnancy at 43 and IVF by calling New York Reproductive Wellness today. Schedule a fertility evaluation to see if a diminished ovarian reserve is causing your infertility.