Is in vitro fertilization right for me? I'm 51 years old.

I am 51 years old; my husband is 46. I have 3 kids from my previous marriage. However, me and my new husband want a baby so bad. He has never had a child. Is in vitro fertilization right for me? If not, what are our options?

Answers from doctors (2)


Piedmont Reproductive Endocrinology Group

Published on Mar 30, 2016

The max age of IVF at PREG is 49.

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Answered by Piedmont Reproductive Endocrinology Group

The max age of IVF at PREG is 49.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Fertility Physicians of Northern California

Published on Dec 28, 2015

IVF is the only option that has any realistic chance of success, and that would require using eggs from a younger woman who is called an egg donor. The chances of pregnancy with your own eggs is probably not more than approximately one in a thousand, or less, so using your own eggs would not be a good choice based on these extremely low chances. So, an egg donor would be required. Therefore, the genetic makeup of your baby would be from the egg donor, but also from your husband's sperm. During the IVF cycles, the egg donor would take medications to stimulate multiple egg development. The eggs would then be retrieved from her, inseminated with your husband's sperm, and the resulting embryos replaced into your uterus. Only one embryo should be replaced to avoid multiple pregnancy, which carries approximately double the risk. Any extra embryos could be frozen for later use if you did not get pregnant on the first embryo transfer, or they can be donated to research or another couple. Most IVF programs have an upper age of the woman of around 50 to treat for infertility. This age is used because it is the age of natural menopause and at that age, the medical risks to the woman who is pregnant are significantly increased and substantial. The increased risk of high blood pressure, eclampsia, placental problems, diabetes, etc. in pregnancy also result in significantly increased risks to the baby. Before pregnancy could be considered at your age, it would be required to have a complete medical screening by an internist and a consultation by a high-risk obstetrician called a maternal-fetal medicine obstetrician. Your fertility physicians and other doctors would have to be confident that any medical conditions could be managed safely during pregnancy. In our program, we would also require counseling because of your age, to help you understand all the factors and issues involved in deciding to become a mother again at your age. There are also multiple medical, infectious, genetic, psychological, and other testing required when a third party (the egg donor) is involved in your pregnancy. Other options would be to consider adoption or to decide to accept your current family situation. Good luck with your decision.

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Answered by Fertility Physicians of Northern California

IVF is the only option that has any realistic chance of success, and that would require using eggs from a younger woman who is called an egg donor. The chances of pregnancy with your own eggs is probably not more than approximately one in a thousand, or less, so using your own eggs would not be a good choice based on these extremely low chances. So, an egg donor would be required. Therefore, the genetic makeup of your baby would be from the egg donor, but also from your husband's sperm. During the IVF cycles, the egg donor would take medications to stimulate multiple egg development. The eggs would then be retrieved from her, inseminated with your husband's sperm, and the resulting embryos replaced into your uterus. Only one embryo should be replaced to avoid multiple pregnancy, which carries approximately double the risk. Any extra embryos could be frozen for later use if you did not get pregnant on the first embryo transfer, or they can be donated to research or another couple. Most IVF programs have an upper age of the woman of around 50 to treat for infertility. This age is used because it is the age of natural menopause and at that age, the medical risks to the woman who is pregnant are significantly increased and substantial. The increased risk of high blood pressure, eclampsia, placental problems, diabetes, etc. in pregnancy also result in significantly increased risks to the baby. Before pregnancy could be considered at your age, it would be required to have a complete medical screening by an internist and a consultation by a high-risk obstetrician called a maternal-fetal medicine obstetrician. Your fertility physicians and other doctors would have to be confident that any medical conditions could be managed safely during pregnancy. In our program, we would also require counseling because of your age, to help you understand all the factors and issues involved in deciding to become a mother again at your age. There are also multiple medical, infectious, genetic, psychological, and other testing required when a third party (the egg donor) is involved in your pregnancy. Other options would be to consider adoption or to decide to accept your current family situation. Good luck with your decision.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


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