Family Magazine

IVF & Older Women – How Successful is IVF After 40?

By Momatlast @momatlast

By Jodi Panayotov

Forty may be the new thirty and fifty may be the new forty but nobody told our reproductive systems. And never has society provided more assistance in convincing us of our new younger status, via the mega industries of cosmetic enhancement and reproductive assistance.

Trying to conceive over 40

Botox is to the face what IVF is to the ovaries – they both involve needles, both hurt like hell but one has a far greater success rate. No prizes for guessing which one. It’s far easier in your forties to look like Nicollette Sheridan than to reproduce like Cherie Blair. And the success rates with IVF, the most assisted of assisted reproductive techniques, is negligibly more than natural rates.

For instance at 45, there is a one percent chance of getting pregnant at all and then at least a fifty percent chance of miscarrying. The chances of IVF success between 40 and 45 is averaged out at ten percent but really starts at this and diminishes dramatically each year which is why many clinics will not perform a cycle for women over 42 using their own eggs.

They say it’s due to not wanting to take large sums of money in return for little or no hope but possibly they don’t want to deflate their own success rates as it isn’t good for business and this is understandable – they need business in order to improve their services.

By the time I was ready to embark on fresh rounds of IVF at the age of 41, having succeeded at 38*, my potential success rate had practically halved and the potential miscarriage rate had risen by fifty percent – hardly encouraging. Yet had I not been lucky enough to conceive a child already, no doubt I’d be in California now, having mortgaged my house and busy organizing an egg donor.

We can turn back the clock in so many ways but our eggs remain the same. I can only assume that in future more women will freeze their eggs when young, having learnt from a generation of women who found themselves, via modern circumstance, able to rid themselves of frown lines but unable to conceive a child.

About the Author

By Jodi Panayotov, author of ‘In Vitro Fertility Goddess’ a non-fiction book about her fertility-obsessed absurd journey to motherhood.

The book has been described as “Australia’s answer to Bridget Jones” by ABC Radio National Breakfast Presenter Fran Kelly.

To read some Free Excerpts and more articles by the author go to

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