How Old Is Too Old for In Vitro Fertilization?

It’s a fact that American women are starting families later in life. Since the year 2000, 46 states and Washington, D.C. have experienced an increase in the number of women over age 35 having their first child.

As a result, many of these older women need to rely on assisted reproductive technologies, like in vitro fertilization (IVF). Female fertility begins to decline naturally around age 30. A woman in her early 40s has only about a five percent chance of conceiving naturally in any monthly cycle.

How old is too old for in vitro fertilization?

Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer to this question. Generally speaking, women over the age of 43 are not advised to undergo IVF with their own eggs. Instead, reproductive specialists recommend using donor eggs, as older eggs have a higher chance of being chromosomally abnormal. These abnormalities can lead to miscarriage, disease, or problems in growth or development. Women over the age of 50 are generally not considered candidates for IVF.

However, women of any age with access to viable eggs or embryos (her own or from a donor) and a receptive uterus (her own or with a gestational surrogate) is capable of achieving motherhood through IVF. If you are between the ages of 35 and 50 and are considering in vitro fertilization, it’s important to understand your risks of pregnancy and perinatal complications, such as:

  • Obstetric hemorrhage
  • Preeclampsia
  • Pregnancy induced hypertension
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Higher rate of Cesarean delivery
  • Preterm delivery
  • Low birth weight

If you would like to explore your options for fertility treatments or are in need of skilled in vitro fertilization services in Columbus, Akron, Canton, Youngstown and other Ohio communities, please contact Reproductive Gynecology & Infertility at 866-537-2461. Our fellowship-trained, board-certified fertility specialists are dedicated to helping you achieve the family of your dreams in a safe, compassionate, and state-of-the-art environment.