Increasingly, women are finding themselves wishing to conceive later in life. This can be challenging, especially because of the reduction in fertility that occurs as women reach their 40s. Indeed, many women in this age group will simply be unable to have a baby in the natural way.
Why does fertility decline with age?
Women are born with a fixed store of eggs in the ovaries which begins to deplete in number right from early life. Eventually, the store of eggs (the ‘ovarian reserve’) runs down leading to the menopause, which signals the end of a woman's fertile life. However, even in the years preceding the menopause her ovarian reserve is declining so markedly that cycles become irregular and fertility much less predictable. Even those eggs which are released from the ovaries might not be as good as they once were. Studies in recent years have shown beyond doubt that the chromosome arrangements of many eggs (and the embryos which they form) are not perfectly correct, and that this problem increases as we get older
How can we help?
Our Fertility for the Over-40s programme brings together four established techniques that together have been shown to help obtain good quality eggs when the odds are against it.
If you are over 40 and would like to understand more about your fertility, the first step would be to arrange a Fertility MOT. This includes a pelvic ultrasound scan to check for polyps, fibroids and cysts and an Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH) blood test which will give an idea about your ovarian reserve. After the tests, your results will be discussed alongside your medical history during a consultation with a fertility specialist. At this point the specialist will be able to discuss your fertility and the best treatment options for you.