04 Jan Reproduction for women over 45 years old
The postponement of maternity, without a doubt, is a reality. In fact, Spain is the country with the highest percentage of new mothers aged 40 and over, followed by Italy and Greece. This is a problem, since the chances of achieving a natural pregnancy from this age decrease greatly. That’s why, more and more women and couples are opting for assisted reproduction treatments to become mothers.
The data of the National Institute of Statistics, of 2018, affirms that: women over 42 years old have a probability of pregnancy less than 5%. Also, between 8 and 10% of women who are 45 years old or older want to be mothers, and more than half of these ones want to be with their first child. But what are the recurring reasons that make some women delay their motherhood and their gestational desire? The most frequent causes are not having a stable relationship, for work reasons, or due to the impossibility of reconciling family and work life. Health and financial reasons are also very frequent, although less so.
As we have mentioned, some women postpone their motherhood for health reasons. But do not forget that being a mother at 45 years old also has many risks. It is true that everything depends on each woman and her individual characteristics, but the risk exists. These women are more likely to have gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, and have a premature or cesarean delivery.
Given this possibility, at Reproclinic we previously carried out a study of the reproductive and general health of the patient
Pregnancy at 45 years with own eggs
From this age and even earlier, the ovarian reserve and the quality of the oocytes decrease a lot. Even some women at that age have reached menopause. As we have already commented on other occasions, when we talk about ovarian reserve we refer to the number of eggs that the woman has.
However, the quality of the eggs or their age is more relevant. At an older age, the egg loses quality and has a high probability of generating chromosomally altered embryos when it is fertilized. Therefore, most of the embryos created at this age present some chromosomal alteration. So they may not implant or end in an abortion.
So what is the best option to have a child at this age? Going through egg donation.
Egg donation in Spain
The women who donate, anonymously in Spain, are between 18 and 35 years old. They enjoy good physical and mental health, and do not suffer from any genetic or sexually transmitted disease. They all go through what is called donor screening, in order to guarantee the highest quality and safety in the treatments.
In order to select the perfect donor for each woman who wants to become a mother through someone else’s eggs, it is important to take into account her physical characteristics, as well as her blood type. Thanks to this aspect, we will look for the donor who most closely resembles the future mother, and the one who best performs a genetic matching (recommended by Reproclinic to bet on maximum security). Why is this match necessary? To minimize the transmission of genetic diseases, through a genetic study that manages to identify altered genes and some common mutations.
Some patients do not want to give up their own genetic load, because they are afraid and reject this. This genetic grief is very recurrent and very normal in women who must bet on egg donation. However, it is necessary to, on the one hand, ensure a healthy baby, and on the other, to be able to achieve pregnancy.
At Reproclinic we have a psychological support service to help these women who need to manage this grief, through our Reproclinic psychologist. In addition, we want to specify that there is epigenetics, that is, changes that occur in the genetic material, due to the influence of environmental factors, above all, by the mother-child connection. Therefore, mothers influence and can modulate the baby’s genetics.
Do you want more information on this topic? We encourage you to watch the webinar by Dr. Marina Martínez, a gynecologist specializing in Fertility and Reproductive Medicine at Reproclinic. You can see it through our YouTube channel.