When a couple is unable to conceive for a long time, they often turn towards the various fertility treatments available. IVF, In-Vitro Fertilization, is a well known and popular fertility treatment that gives the couple a chance at a normal pregnancy. The process is quite simple. Eggs from the female body are taken out and sperms from the male are then fused in it. If an embryo develops successfully, the embryo is kept in the lab under observation for a few days and then placed back into the female uterus. If the embryo implants itself, this may lead to pregnancy but it also may not get implanted.
Normally, every couple that goes through IVF asks about their chances at the success of the treatment. And one of the most asked questions about IVF are that ‘does age matters?’ The answer to this question is a big Yes! Age does matter.
An IVF Treatment is directly related to the health of the egg and the sperm taken from both the male and the female body. It is a well-known fact that with an increase in age, the ability of a woman and a man to produce healthy and fertile eggs and sperm decreases. In women, fertility starts to decline after age 28. By 35, only half of the eggs produced by the female can be counted as healthy eggs and their chances at natural pregnancy become much lesser than they were when they were young. Then the female body slowly reaches the point where it produces very less fertile eggs, this happens at the age of 40. At this time, the chances at the normal pregnancy are almost close to nil.
In men, the decline of the fertility starts from early or mid-forties and then keeps on declining till they reach the age 50. The sperm produced at this time is not healthy and does not have the ability to reach the female egg. Some men lose the total fertility by age 50.
If you are taking IVF and your eggs or sperms are not healthy, they may not fuse together and create an embryo. Also, not only that, even if they did form an embryo, at the later point of time, when the embryo will be placed inside the woman’s body, the embryo may not get implanted in the uterus. This means that you have to endure another IVF cycle. To overcome this problem, doctors usually test the health of the sperm and the egg beforehand and if your egg and sperm are not healthy enough, you are either given some medication or are suggested to opt for donated eggs and sperms.
There is another huge factor that affects the IVF success rate and that is the health of the female uterus. The health of the female uterus declines as age increases. Even if a healthy embryo is formed using IVF and placed inside the woman’s uterus, it may be the case that her uterus is not healthy enough and does not accept the formed embryo. This may lead to a failed transplant or an early miscarriage in case if the woman does get pregnant.
Thus, it can be seen that the success rate of an IVF is directly related to the couple’s age. So, don’t wait to get pregnant till you are older as it may cause complications at the later point of time when you do want to conceive.