Women over 40 are increasingly looking to have children. Women today are much more likely to want to achieve their personal and professional goals before becoming pregnant. While this makes sense socially and economically, biologically a woman’s fertility begins to decline as she ages. This can make becoming pregnant difficult. Fertility care for women over 40 can provide a means for these women to have the family they are dreaming of.
Fertility Care for Women over 40
Fertility care for women over 40 begins with understanding each woman’s specific reproductive system. This is accomplished through testing. Testing often involves blood work, ultrasound, and a series of tests to determine if a woman’s uterus and fallopian tubes are normally shaped and open. The information from these tests will be used to establish a fertility care plan. That plan will include treatment options that speak to the exact needs of that woman.
Fertility Treatment Options
Fertility treatment options vary dramatically between individuals. Even at the same age, two women may have vastly different reproductive systems. There are a number of treatment options that can benefit women over 40, including:
- In vitro fertilization (IVF) – This process retrieves a woman’s eggs just before they are ready to ovulate. Then, the eggs are fertilized in a laboratory setting and the resulting embryos are monitored during their development. The embryos are then transferred into the mother where they can implant and result in pregnancy.
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) – This procedure is an option for women who are still ovulating and who have open fallopian tubes. The woman is closely monitored during the cycle and is then inseminated using her partner’s sperm or donor sperm. The sperm are delivered directly into the uterus increasing the odds for fertilization.
- Donor Eggs – Much of the difficulty conceiving for women over 40 is due to the quality of the eggs. Using donor eggs resolves this issue and enables women to become pregnant. Donors can be known or anonymous. When anonymous donors are used, women are able to select donors based on a number of criteria including