What is the age limit for pregnancy?
In the past, there was a clear age limit for pregnancy. As our San Antonio fertility specialists often tell patients, female fertility declines with age. But new developments in the field of reproductive medicine and third party reproduction are making it possible for women to conceive even after they enter menopause. Just look at Janet Jackson and the bundle of joy she welcomed into the world last year. In this new fertility landscape, what is the new age limit for pregnancy?
A new age limit for pregnancy with help from IVF with donor eggs
Although egg quality and quantity decrease with age, in vitro fertilization (IVF) with donor eggs can help women conceive even after they have gone through menopause. Our San Antonio fertility specialists will never recommend a fertility treatment that isn’t safe and effective. However, an IVF with donor eggs pregnancy in patients over age 50 doesn’t seem to carry much more risk than pregnancy in younger women.
One study found that women over age 50 had the same chance of developing gestational diabetes and premature labor as younger patients receiving the same treatment. Older women did have a slightly higher risk of developing high blood pressure, but it can be prevented or managed with proper monitoring and treatment.
The reason for the new age limit for pregnancy
If ovarian function decreases with age, you might be wondering why women are still able to successfully carry a pregnancy later in life. Simply put, the uterus is very different than the ovaries. Although egg production decreases with age, the uterus’ ability to carry a child does not change as much over the years. But this doesn’t mean that a woman can or should become a mother at any age.
Our San Antonio fertility specialists generally use age 55 as the cut-off for motherhood. The average lifespan for a woman today is the mid-80s, so a woman can expect to live another 30 years at age 55. She is also still physically, emotionally and financially equipped for motherhood. Anything beyond age 55 is taken on a case by case basis.
Contact us if you would like to schedule an appointment and learn how to conceive later in life.