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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Not all plain sailing for world’s oldest IVF patient having a baby with her own eggs

A patient at a Florida fertility clinic has, at the age of 46, become the world's oldest IVF patient to have a baby with her own eggs. There are many cases of older women delivering healthy babies from donor eggs - especially in the USA, where many egg donation cases even in postmenopausal women have been widely publicised.

But it's extremely rare for women of such an advanced reproductive age to have a successful pregnancy with her own eggs. Many studies have found that the rate of chromosomal abnormalities in a woman's eggs and embryos increases with advancing age, such that at least half the embryos have been identified with some disorders after the age of 35 or so. Such findings explain the higher risk of miscarriage or Down syndrome in the pregnancies of older women.

Most women over 40 - as reflected in the Bridge Centre's Fertility for the Over-40s programme - are usually advised that routine IVF with their own eggs is likely to be much less successful than with donor eggs. Those using their own eggs, even in their late 30s, would usually be advised to ensure the chromosomal health of embryos by embryo screening.

"In no way does a woman want to use this example to defer fertility until they are older," said the Florida clinic's founder in a press statement. "After age 40, women still face huge hurdles. Their risk of complication gets higher every step of the way."

This was certainly the case for their patient, whose pregnancy required a ten-week stay in hospital and an early delivery by Cesarean section.


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