Female fertility declines with age and by the time a woman reaches her late thirties her fertility will be much less than a decade earlier. Indeed, many women in their early forties will be unable to conceive naturally. At the London Women’s Clinic, we have designed a specific Fertility for the Over-40s programme tailored to help women over 40 to have a baby.
The London Women’s Clinic treats women up to the age of 45 with IVF using their own eggs. This decision is based on some investigations at the clinic to understand the patient’s ovarian reserve. Initially this will include an Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH) blood test and a pelvic ultrasound scan with an Antral Follicle Count which we call a Fertility MOT. Further investigations may be required before a specialist recommends the best course of action going forward. Unfortunately, there is no test to gauge the quality of eggs and we know that this will decline as women get older meaning that the chances of success from IVF over the age of 42 are slim.
IVF with genetic testing
As women get older there is an increased chance that the embryos created either naturally or through IVF treatment will be abnormal (aneuploid). Using the latest genetic testing techniques, our skilled embryologists can biopsy embryos created via IVF to test for genetic abnormalities. This means that we can then only transfer the “normal” embryos therefore reducing the risk of miscarriage and babies born with genetic conditions. Our pioneering One by One IVF programme combines the use of genetic testing with the freezing of embryos. Embryos are then transferred one at a time to reduce the risk of multiple pregnancy making pregnancy safer for both mum and baby.
IVF with donor eggs
Egg donation allows women with few viable eggs of their own to achieve a pregnancy and have a baby. Although the baby will not be genetically related to the mother, it gives her the opportunity to carry and give birth to her baby. Until recently, there has been a shortage of donor eggs in the UK with many patients going overseas for treatment. The LWC works closely with the London Egg Bank to provide donor eggs without a wait. Improvements in the recruitment of donors and freezing techniques in the laboratory mean that treatment with donor eggs in the UK is now a much simpler process without long waiting lists.