Is IVF successful after 40?

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There are many reasons why women decide to delay pregnancy until their 40s. These reasons can include education, career goals, the desire to be in a stable relationship or even to be financially secure. 

IVF is the most commonly used fertility treatment for women who are trying to conceive after the age of 40. This high tech treatment is recommended simply because of age or other fertility factors that interfere with a woman’s ability to get pregnant. Genetic diseases can also lead to the use of IVF to ensure a healthy child, and women without a male partner can benefit from IVF too on their journey of starting solo motherhood.

Age is an important factor that predicts fertility and pregnancy success. Egg quality and quantity decline with the increase of age which is why age is the single most important factor affecting a woman’s fertility. Women are born with a limited number of eggs, meaning that you won’t produce any new eggs during your lifetime. This limited number of eggs gradually decreases over time.

At the euroCARE IVF clinic, we have designed a fertility program especially for women in their 40s. In this special IVF after 40 program, our leading fertility team has brought together a range of effective techniques to help women in this age group have a baby. With assisted reproduction technology, there is still much that can be done to achieve a successful pregnancy. Let’s review each of the treatment options available for women in their 40s and beyond.

Tandem IVF

Tandem IVF is a special type of IVF treatment which involves producing and retrieving eggs from a female patient and her egg donor by choice, fertilizing the collected eggs with the partner’s (or donor) sperm, and transferring the embryo(s) to the recipient’s uterus with the intent to establish a pregnancy. Tandem IVF is different from the standard IVF treatment in that it uses an additional set of eggs in order to ensure successful conception and pregnancy.

Tandem IVF is very similar to conventional IVF treatment. The female patient starts taking fertility medications on day 2 of her cycle in order to produce more eggs for retrieval. After seven days, the patient needs to come to Cyprus to proceed with the treatment. Here, we scan the patient’s ovaries to assess the development and growth of her eggs. If the doctor determines that the eggs are ready, an egg retrieval procedure is scheduled 34 to 36 hours after receiving a trigger shot (hCG injection).

While you are preparing for the egg retrieval, your egg donor undergoes the same ovarian stimulation procedure just like you. With the use of hormonal injections, the donor will be able to generate multiple eggs. When the eggs become large enough, a simple egg retrieval procedure is performed.

Once collected, the two sets of eggs are fertilized using the ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) method. With this method, the single sperm cells are injected directly into each collected egg. Here at euroCARE IVF, we performed ICSI in every IVF procedure at no extra cost. ICSI is the most effective method of fertilization used in assisted reproductive treatments.

The biggest advantage of Tandem IVF is that it gives you the chance to attempt pregnancy with your own eggs and use donor eggs as a back-up plan. This way, patients have two sets of embryos to choose from for transfer. 

All our in-house egg donors have previously undergone an extensive screening procedure to ensure suitability for the euroCARE IVF egg donation program. Once the official match is done, you and your donor can begin the treatment by first synchronizing the two cycles using medication for reaching optimal results.

Egg donation

Egg donation is a type of assisted reproductive procedure that uses eggs obtained from an egg donor to create embryos for implantation. At euroCARE IVF, we take great care to guarantee the anonymity of all egg donors. This means that any identifying information about the donor won’t be made available to you. 

All potential donors must undergo stringent medical tests before being accepted in our egg donation program. The screening process includes a physical exam, laboratory and genetic testing which are used to ensure good health and absence of genetic conditions. Only candidates who will successfully complete the screening process will be added to our database. Patients who are in search of an egg donor will go through the profiles of our donors with the help of the support team.

The selection of a donor is usually done based on the preferences of the patient(s) such as physical attributes, nationality, education, and career. In order to facilitate the selection process, intended parents are asked to fill out a medical form in which they provide details about the qualities they look into an egg donor. We then provide them with access to the database so they can view the egg donor profiles and choose the most suitable one. After the official match is done, the egg donation process can begin.

The first step is to synchronize your cycle with the donor’s cycle using medication. Once your cycles are in sync, the donor will start taking your fertility drugs to stimulate egg production

While the egg donor is preparing for the egg retrieval, fertility drugs are administered to the recipient to prepare her uterus for the embryo transfer. It is important to create a favorable environment for the embryo(s) to implant successfully after the transfer.

Once the eggs become ready, an ultrasound-guided egg retrieval procedure is scheduled at our IVF clinic in North Cyprus. This process takes only 15-20 minutes. The collected eggs are fertilized in our lab using an ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) procedure. ICSI enables individual healthy sperm cells to fertilize each of the collected eggs. Three to five days after the egg retrieval, embryos are transferred to the recipient’s uterus. Twelve days later, the patient checks if pregnancy has occurred through a beta hCG blood test.

Embryo donation

Embryo donation is a fertility treatment that involves egg and sperm donation to enable conception and pregnancy. We combine fresh donor eggs with frozen donor sperm to create embryos for implantation. 

Our clinic partners with a reputable sperm bank in Europe to provide you with quality donor sperm. All you have to do it search through the profiles of the sperm donors and choose the one that suits you best. All sperm donors are thoroughly screened to ensure pregnancy success.

At the beginning of the treatment process, you will be asked or information about the qualities you desire in a donor. Based on your criteria, the support team will help find the perfect match. 

The embryo donation process involves multiple steps. The first important step is to assess the level of fertility in the female patient and determine the best medication protocol for embryo transfer. 

Once the fertility assessment is done, we’ll proceed with fertilization of the fresh donor’s eggs with the frozen donor’s sperm. The resulting embryos grow for a couple of days in the lab after the ICSI procedure. Our fertility doctor will discuss the date for embryo transfer. On day three or five, embryos are transferred with the intent to achieve a pregnancy. Twelve days after the embryo transfer, a beta hCG test is carried out to determine if pregnancy has occurred. 

Cryopreservation

woman undergoing ivf after 40Cryopreservation is a procedure that uses very low temperatures to preserve fresh eggs and embryos for future IVF cycles. The objective of cryopreservation is to minimize damage to cells and ensure the possibility for future conception. 

At euroCARE IVF, cryopreservation is available through vitrification, an emerging technology that maximizes freezing rates and minimizes the risk of cell damage. The goal of vitrification is to avoid crystallization and dehydration of the cells. Preservation is achieved through ultra-rapid, “flash” freezing which brings egg/embryo cells into “glass-like” state. 

The temperature at which frozen cells are stored determines how long they can be stored. Lower temperatures will keep the cells viable for a prolonged period. It’s paramount that storage occurs below the glass transition which usually is -70C (-94F).

When you feel ready to use your cryopreserved eggs/embryos, they will be thawed in our lab by slowly bringing the frozen cells to room temperature. Using good technique and working quickly ensures that a high proportion of the cells survive the procedure. At euroCARE IVF, Over 90% of frozen eggs survive the freeze-thaw process. Thawing should be synchronized with a patient’s cycle so that embryos can be transferred just in time. 

Egg Fertilization

Thawed eggs are fertilized in the lab in a procedure called Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). At this point, individual healthy sperm cells are injected directly into the cytoplasm of each collected egg.  Once fertilization occurs, embryos will be cultured and then transferred on day 3 or day 5.

Embryo Transfer

You will discuss the quality of the frozen embryos and the adequate number to transfer. The decision will be made based on the age when the eggs were frozen. Cryopreserved embryos are first thawed (warmed up) and then transferred using a catheter and an abdominal ultrasound for visualization. The procedure of embryo transfer takes about 15 minutes.

Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

Frozen embryo transfer (FET) at our clinic is carried out with hormonal support. The patient starts preparing her uterus for embryo transfer using estrogen and progesterone supplements to help her grow a healthy uterine lining for implantation. 

The date of embryo transfer is determined based on the following factors: when progesterone supplementation was started, the thickness of uterine lining, at what stage the embryo was cryopreserved, and maternal age. Embryo transfer is performed by placing a catheter loaded with embryos into the womb. A beta hCG test is arranged 12 days post transfer to check the results. If the test result is positive, you will be referred to your local ob-gyn for prenatal care.

Preimplantation Genetic Screening

Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) is a genetic test performed during the IVF procedure to determine if there are any chromosomal abnormalities within the embryo. On day three after egg retrieval, one cell from each embryo is extracted for lab testing. PGS screens the following five chromosomes: 13, 18, 21, and XX/XY which are known to cause almost 90% of all genetic-linked disorders. 

PGS allows the identification and transfer of embryos free from abnormalities to the mother’s uterus. It significantly increases the pregnancy rates per cycle and reduces the risk of miscarriage. PGS testing is a delicate test that does not damage embryos nor it delays embryo growth. PGS testing is completed by our experienced, highly-trained lab team whose expertise carries no risk to the embryo. 

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is a technique that provides information about the genetic makeup of the embryo. With PGD, one cell from each day-5 blastocyst embryo is removed and are then are sent to the lab for analysis. The embryo is usually frozen and transferred when the test results are ready. PGD is 98 percent accurate in identifying affected and unaffected embryos.

IVF Over 40 Success 

Research and technological advancement in assisted reproductive technology (ART) enabled many women to become pregnant in their 40s. At the euroCARE IVF clinic, we have helped many women over 40 seeking fertility treatment to get pregnant. That’s why we have created a special fertility program for this age group of women who are still dreaming of having their perfect family. 

IVF Success Rates Over 40 With Donor Eggs

As egg donation becomes an increasingly popular option for women in their 40s, particularly women over 42, the euroCARE IVF clinic works closely with highly-qualified, accomplished egg donors to provide donor eggs without a wait and with success rates. Our egg donation program is extremely successful with success rates that range between 70% and 78% for women aged 40 and 45+.

IVF After 40 at euroCARE IVF

For generations, women knew that pregnancy in their 40s wasn’t possible. With the advancements in assisted reproductive technology (ART), many women are able to become pregnant into their 40s. Although age is one of the important factors that affect fertility and chances of pregnancy, you can still benefit from IVF.  For those after the age of 40 who are looking to become pregnant, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is most often the only treatment option to help you realize your dream of parenthood. Get in touch with our support team to learn more about your options!

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