Donor eggs for advanced maternal age versus IVF: It’s all about the numbers

Just about every woman wants to conceive using her own eggs. Fertility Doctor Jane Miller MD has helped women in their late-30s, 40s and beyond become mothers since the inception of North Hudson IVF in 1995. Patients, regardless of their age or menstrual status, often want to try to conceive with their own eggs before using donor eggs to establish a healthy, ongoing pregnancy.

Is the glass half full or half empty?

Although the statistics about age and fertility are sobering, patients fall into one of two categories: half full or half empty. A 41-year-old woman in the first group hears that she has a 16% chance of taking home a baby created with her own eggs. She does not hear that the chance of failure can be up to 84%.

On the other hand, a woman in the half empty group is in her late thirties and does not believe that her chances of pregnancy success are 30% or greater with her own eggs. She is reluctant to try IVF with her own eggs, even though a try is warranted in most cases.

Signs to seek out donor eggs for advanced maternal age

Unfortunately, having regular, monthly menstrual cycles does not mean that a woman can conceive using her own eggs. Fertility testing can help determine whether IVF or IVF with donor eggs is more likely to help the woman conceive. However, even before undergoing testing, certain signs indicate that using donor eggs might be the more successful option.

These signs include:

  • Older than 42 years old.
  • AMH less than 1.06 ng/ml.
  • FSH greater than 10 IU/ml.
  • A low antral follicle count (less than five or six).

The process of using donor eggs

When using donor eggs for advanced maternal age, the physician retrieves the donor eggs and the IVF lab inseminates the eggs with either the sperm of the patient’s partner or frozen donor sperm. The resulting embryos are then cultured (grown) for five days and either frozen or biopsied to learn about their genetics and gender. The uterus of the intended mother is prepared to receive an embryo and, when her uterus is ready, she undergoes an embryo transfer.

Using donor eggs, the chance of an ongoing pregnancy (based on the national average) is 60% or greater. Donor eggs allow patients to experience pregnancy exactly the same as if they had conceived with their own eggs.

Contact us if you would like to learn more about donor eggs or schedule a consultation.