Fertility and Age

Many more women today are starting their families are in their 30’s and even 40’s. This has resulted in an increase in the number of women experiencing fertility issues. After the age of 35 to 38 the quantity and quality of your eggs declines at an increasingly rapid rate leading to a higher rates of infertility, more frequent miscarriages, and a greater risk of chromosomal disorders in children.

Chance per month of Conceiving
Age vs Chance Each Month
 

 

What is the ideal age to freeze your eggs?

Evidence shows that the younger a woman’s eggs are the better her chance of pregnancy. In addition, younger women are less likely to need more than one treatment cycle to achieve success as they have higher egg yields. That said, pregnancy rates are similar all the way up to the age of 38 years, when using frozen/ warmed eggs from healthy women with reasonable egg reserves. After a woman is 38 years, fertility naturally declines more rapidly and the projection of pregnancy success using older frozen eggs reflects this natural decline. However, at Olive we still achieve successful outcomes with some women who freeze their eggs in their late 30’s.

Ovarian Reserve

Ovarian reserve refers to the amount of eggs remaining in a woman's ovaries at a given time. While you are born with up to 1-2 million immature eggs, over time they are lost at a rapid rate, with about 300,000 remaining by puberty. During your reproductive years only 1 egg typically ovulates per month, but dozens are lost. By the age of 40, only a few thousand eggs remain.

Furthermore, egg quality declines such that as women age, eggs are less likely to lead to a pregnancy and those that do have a higher risk of miscarriage and chromosomal problems such as Down syndrome.

Tests such as AMH, FSH, and antral follicle count can tell us about egg number, however, age is the best predictor of egg quality.

 

A Woman is Born With All the Eggs She will Ever Have
Eggs remaining vs. age

At Age 40 only 1 in 40 eggs is genetically normal

 

Egg quality declines as you age

Not only does your egg quantity decline with age but so does your egg quality. As you get older, more of your eggs are genetically damaged. These eggs, if they become fertilized, will result in a failed IVF, miscarriage or the birth of child with a chromosomal abnormality.

IVF Chance of Success = Age of Your Eggs

The good news is that if you decide to have IVF with your frozen younger eggs when you are in your 40’s you will have exactly the same chance of success as if you were still in your 30’s. This is because it is the age of your eggs that determines the likelihood of you having a successful healthy pregnancy.

 

What Does Egg Freezing Involve?