What is the right age for an IVF procedure?
IVF or In-vitro Fertilization can act as a ray of hope for thousands of infertile couples. Being a leading IVF specialist in Maharashtra, we often come across one common question related to IVF, “What is the right age for an IVF procedure?”
So we decided to develop a detailed blog to address this common question and eliminate all your doubts. So let’s get started.
What is the right age for IVF?
There are cases when young couples are unable to conceive a baby naturally after trying multiple times. So they go to an IVF specialist for a consultation and tests. The test reveals that the female partner has blocked fallopian tubes, and hence the doctor recommends an IVF. But the couples often question that they are very young, so why would they need an IVF?
Similarly, in some cases, the age of couples is considerably more. So they, too, are sceptical about whether the IVF procedure will help them.
To get the answers to these questions, it’s important to understand the right age for a woman to conceive.
What is the right age for a woman to conceive?
The right age to conceive a child is 24 to 30 years. Whether trying it naturally or using any ARTs (assisted reproductive techniques) like IVF or IUI, 24 to 30 is the right age. The reason is before the age of 24 years; you are mentally and physically incapable of giving birth to a child and raising it.
Similarly, after the age of 30, your number of eggs drops rapidly, and it starts becoming very difficult to conceive with each passing day. Moreover, the quality of the remaining eggs deteriorates too. In some cases, fibroids start forming in the uterus, endometriosis problems arise, pelvic inflammation occurs, or even weight increases considerably. In some women, diabetes or hypertension becomes rampant. That’s why 24 to 30 years is an ideal time to conceive.
Moreover, as the male partner ages, their sperm faces issues like lower sperm count, poor sperm motility, morphological disorders or DNA fragmentation. So, male fertility declines a bit after the age of 30.
When is the number of eggs in a woman highest?
When a girl child is in her mother’s womb, and the embryo’s age is 5 to 6 months, the number of eggs in her body is decided at that time itself. So when a girl child is born, the number of eggs is the highest. Once the menstrual cycle starts, the number of eggs starts decreasing. We know that during every menstrual cycle, one egg ovulates in the female. But simultaneously, another 3 to 4 eggs try to grow and ovulate in both ovaries.
Ultimately, only one egg ovulates, and others are wasted. In short, with every menstrual cycle, the number of eggs in a woman decreases. There is no medicine available that can increase the number of eggs in the ovary. The medicines available in the market help the hidden eggs that are unable to ovulate themselves to ovulate, and that’s it. But again, no medicine is available that can increase the number of eggs in a female.
Why did IVF become mandatory for conceiving?
In the following cases, IVF is mandatory, irrespective of yours or your partner’s age:
Azoospermia: It’s a condition where the sperm cells are forming in the male’s testes, but in the semen, the sperm count is zero. In this case, a procedure called ICSI can be very helpful. In such a case, there is no bar and age. The more you wait, the chances of conceiving drop more. So getting an IVF done as quickly as possible is always better.
Read More: Azoospermia
Blocked Fallopian tubes: When both the tubes are severely blocked, and there is no way to open them, in such a case, wasting time conceiving naturally is useless. Or if the female partner is diagnosed with severe Endometriosis, IVF is the only option in both cases, whatever the age.
Mullerian Agenesis: Out of 5000 girls, one takes birth without the uterus. These girls do not have a uterus, but they do have ovaries that produce eggs. In such girls, IVF is the only ray of hope for conceiving a child with the help of a Surrogate Mother. But the success depends on how early such couples opt for an IVF.
Low AMH levels at a young age: We have recently witnessed numerous cases where the number of eggs in even a young female is much less. This is indicated by a very low AMH level. This could be the result of excessive chemical fertilizers used in the production of food and vegetables or due to the depletive lifestyle. So in such cases, if you cannot conceive naturally after a few attempts, opting for an IVF procedure as soon as possible is recommended.
Ageing: As you age, the number of eggs naturally starts decreasing, along with the deteriorated quality. That’s the reason why the IVF success rate is a bit lower in older age. In some extreme cases, the reports of the couple are normal, and they spend a lot of time conceiving naturally. But after trying up to 40 or 42 years old, they feel IVF too can not help them.
But it’s important to note that IVF has no age-based restrictions. You can opt for an IVF at any age. But it’s possible that as your age increases, the success rate of IVF will decrease. In such cases, conceiving your own egg could be difficult. Moreover, there is also a risk of a genetic defect in the baby or the risk of abortion with older eggs.
That’s why in some cases, when the woman’s age is considerably older, the doctors recommend using a donor’s egg.
In short, when all your other body functions are normal, including a healthy uterus, no diabetes and a healthy heart, a doctor will recommend an IVF to you at any age.
Read In Detail: Age Related Infertility
Getting IVF as early as possible is the best way to improve your chances of a successful pregnancy. But if you could not get an IVF at an early age, there is no restriction in doing it at the later stage too. Although the chances of a successful pregnancy might decrease, there is always hope.
We hope this guide on the right age for IVF has cleared all your doubts. Still, if you have queries or need more information about IVF, our experts are here to help. So do not hesitate and reach out to us. Our experts will get back to you with all the helpful information as soon as possible.
Dr. Supriya Puranik
Gynaecologist & IVF Specialist
Often known as the last glimmer of hope for people who have lost all hope for conceiving a child, Dr. Supriya Puranik is a leading gynaecologist, high risk obstetrician and Head of IVF & Gynaecology department at Ankura Hospital for Women & Children.
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