new test may warn women that their child bearing years are ending - page 2

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  1. by   DeLana_RN
    Quote from Spidey's mom
    On the flip side DeLana - there are many women who do have babies in their 40's w/o donor eggs and the children are not "abnormal".

    I'm not saying it is likely - but to make blanket statements is not helpful either.

    I had my last child at 43. He is a healthy normal 7 year old.

    I'm very happy for you that you had your twins!

    steph

    I just have to add that I found it very insulting for the doc to push genetic testing and amniocentesis on us by the way.
    Just to clarifiy, I didn't say that most children born to women in their forties are abnormal. From what I learned, both from my RE and my own research during our years of infertility treatments, most eggs in woman of "advanced [reproductive] age", i.e. late thirties and beyond, are chromosomally abnormal. Over age 40, it may be as many as 90% of all eggs produced. Most of those are so abnormal that they are not capable to being fertilized and/or cause early spontaneous abortion (miscarriage). This means that a woman at age 40 may release, at best, one egg a year (!) that could potentially develop into a pregnancy, assuming that all other factors are perfect (e.g., no other male or female factor, i.e., other fertility issues are present and that fertilization is attempted at the optimal time, with or without medical assistance). This is why is so extremely difficult for fertility pts to achieve a successful pregnancy after age 40. (Superovulation drugs and IVF are used to try to harvest and fertilize as many eggs as possible in a cycle to increase the chance that one or more of them may be "normal").

    On the other hand, some women do in fact spontaneously conceive in their forties. Usually, these are women who have had children before (proven fertility) and/or from families where late pregnancies are not unusual. Their menopausal clock may just be on a later track than the average. However, these women are far and few between and typically have not tried to achieve a pregnancy (I know there are exceptions. My own sister-in-law, who already had a 24- and a 4-year-old, had another healthy child at age 44 after trying to conceive for 3 years and after "numerous miscarriages".)

    As for what you are probably referring to, children born with chromosomal problems: Only a small number of fertilized eggs with abnormal numbers of chromosomes are even compatible with life (e.g., triosomies 13, 18 and 21-Down's). The odds of these occuring are certainly higher in older women, but not as high as it may seem. A women at forty has about a 3% chance of this occurring; by age 45 it's one in 12 pregnancies. However, this is still a relatively small percentage and women who manage to get pregnant in their forties have an excellent chance of having a healthy baby.

    As for prenatal tests: We chose to forego the amnio because the slightly increased risk of miscarriage with a twin pregnancy was just not acceptable to us. We had received good ultrasound results; however, I made a mistake that I wouldn't repeat: the AFP blood test. In anyone over 40 it will give a high risk of Down Syndrome because of their calculations. It caused some anxiety, but we still didn't want to do the amnio (nor the even higher risk CVS).

    P.S. We are indeed very lucky to have twins with my own eggs from an IVF cycle when I was 41; half of all fertility pts of all ages never succeed. It took five cycles, however, all paid for out of pocket (don't get me started on lack of insurance coverage for fertility treatments), and we had almost given up.

    One more thing - although I'm considered "subfertile" due to "advanced maternal age", I don't for a moment believe that I couldn't spontaneously conceive, although I'm nearly 46. It's just very unlikely.
    Last edit by DeLana_RN on Apr 16, '09
  2. by   Spidey's mom
    DeLana - I have a former sis-in-law who conceived at 46 using a fertility doc but I'm not sure of the method. I know they were her own eggs and she had triplets, one who died in utero.

    Another friend remarried a woman 10 years younger and he had a reverse vasectomy and they've tried for 10 years and no baby. I'm not sure why they won't consider adoption. He is 52 and she is 42 now. They married when she was 32 - so, that is a long time to keep trying.

    steph
  3. by   DeLana_RN
    Quote from Spidey's mom
    DeLana - I have a former sis-in-law who conceived at 46 using a fertility doc but I'm not sure of the method. I know they were her own eggs and she had triplets, one who died in utero.

    Another friend remarried a woman 10 years younger and he had a reverse vasectomy and they've tried for 10 years and no baby. I'm not sure why they won't consider adoption. He is 52 and she is 42 now. They married when she was 32 - so, that is a long time to keep trying.

    steph
    That's true, but I know from my time dealing with infertility that many couples do not want to consider adoption or even donor eggs. If you think about it, neither would many fertile couples (but they never had to consider such options).

    Many fertility patients who are unsuccessful simply decide to remain childless. And perhaps your friend and his wife are still trying or on a waiting list for donor eggs or adoption (it's not something always discussed with friends and family).

    DeLana

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