Pregnancy and infertility: Is it all about the age?

With more and more women stepping out in the corporate world they now choose to become mothers at a later stage of life. Studies show that there is an increase in 33% of women giving birth over the age of 40, in the last five years.

Biologically,fertilization in women decreases over time, particularly from the age of 35onwards. As women are born with a set number of eggs whose possibilities ofconceiving after age of 35 tend to deteriorate.

There arelots of factors that lead to infertility in females. You may find doctorsaddressing a common problem that could be the result of physical or emotionaltrauma. Age is one of the significant factors and plays a crucial role in awoman’s life when they conceiving.

Withadvancing age, many physiological changes take place in a woman’s body that canhinder the natural conceiving process or can lead to miscarriages.  In thewoman under the age of 35 years, chances of successful IVF pregnancy are veryhigh while it is low for the woman above 40 years old. With the advanced age,the likelihood of miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities such as Downsyndrome also increases.

Most embryoswith an incorrect number of chromosomes fail to implant or miscarry during thefirst trimester of pregnancy.

As per thestudy by IGENOMIX, in women over 38 years old, 79% of embryos have chromosomalabnormalities. These abnormalities can be numeric, with the most common examplebeing that of Down syndrome (three copies of chromosome 21 instead of two),along with Edwards’ and Patau’s syndromes. The risk of this age groupsuffering with such abnormalities is 30%. In these cases, theparents’ chromosomes do not have abnormalities.

Before youopt for IVF process you should know about the Fertility Clock i.e. when you areof age 20 the egg quality is 90% normal and 10% abnormal but as soon as a womenattains the age of 40 the egg quality goes to 10% being normal and 90%abnormal.

To avoidpregnancy with chromosomal abnormalities in the woman with advanced maternalage, we recommend that Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) beperformed. PGS is an early genetic diagnosis of the embryo before its transferto the uterus, and therefore prior to the establishment of pregnancy. PGSallows only embryos that are free of abnormalities to be transferred.

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