Pregnancy after 40: What Are the Risks?

“Increasing age is associated with an increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities, including Down’s Syndrome and other more serious conditions, which carry a high mortality rate for the fetus or newborn infant.”

With that being said, let’s explore some of the ways to women can be assisted with pregnancy:

– In vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment: involves combining eggs and sperm outside the body in a laboratory. Once an embryo or embryos form, they are then placed in the uterus. IVF is a complex procedure, averaging out to about $15,000 per treatment. The success rate is 6% in women over 40.

– Egg Freezing: includes the retrieval of an egg during a cycle (many women will require more than one) the storing of the eggs, and for the reinsertion. Costs range anywhere from $20,000-$50,000. Some experts believe that freezing eggs has no effect on fertilization while others argue that it decreases probability.

-Donated Egg: In the US they are anonymous donors or semi-anonymous donors recruited by egg donor agencies or IVF clinics. Such donors may also be non-anonymous donors, i.e., they may exchange identifying and contact information with the recipients. In most countries other than the US and UK, the law requires such donors to remain anonymous.

A preconception counseling visit with your physician will allow you to discuss your health, your desire for future childbearing, and what steps you can take before, during and after pregnancy to ensure your health and the health of your most precious commodity:  your unborn child.

For more on staying healthy before, after and during pregnancy, click here.