Why is there an age limit for assisted reproduction? - Reproclinic

Why is there an age limit for assisted reproduction?

At Reproclinic, the age limit for undergoing assisted reproduction treatment is 50. And you may ask, why is there an age limit when IVF with egg donation is available? Well, we will tell you about it in this article so that you can understand the reasons.

The SEF, the Spanish Fertility Society, together with the consensus of assisted reproduction clinics and experts, agreed that the maximum age limit is 50 years old, for health reasons for the mother and the baby.

But why is there an age limit? Well, as the age of the woman advances, the ovary ages and the eggs that are generated lose quality, producing embryos with chromosomal alterations. The vast majority of embryos with chromosomal alterations are not capable of implanting and give rise to implantation failures, are placed and lost during the first trimester of pregnancy, giving rise to spontaneous miscarriages.

However, a smaller percentage are able to develop fully and give rise to a child born with a chromosomal syndrome. This is why, from the age of 37, if a woman undergoes an assisted reproduction cycle, it is advisable to have the embryos chromosomally analysed before transferring them to the mother’s uterus, so as to be able to select those that have the correct chromosomal endowment and, therefore, the potential to give rise to a healthy pregnancy.

The embryo analysis technique is known as Pre-implantational Genetic Diagnosis (PGT-AS).
However, the age factor can be eliminated if eggs from a young donor are used. In these cases, by replacing the poor quality egg with a good quality one, the potential of the future embryo is restored. IVF is carried out with oocyte donation, i.e. with the eggs of a donor woman.
The data on perinatal risk and maternal complications according to age show that, from the age of 50 onwards, there is a significant increase in the risk of:

  • Premature birth or other complications in childbirth, resulting in more caesarean sections.
  • Complications in pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes, placental abruption, hypertensive problems…

Which is the ideal age to become a mother?

Biologically, and if your reproductive and general health is good, the ideal age is between 20 and 35, since, on the one hand, your ovarian reserve is good and, on the other hand, your eggs are of good quality.

An ideal option for not having to undergo IVF with egg donation is to preserve your fertility, that is, to vitrify your eggs in order to be able to use them later, in the event that you do not want to become a mother or cannot become one due to your personal situation in this age range.
Whether with your own eggs or with egg donation, the aim of both our clinic and our patients is to start a family at the optimum age (18-50 years old), and to make one of the most beautiful and special life projects in the world a reality. If you are in this age group and want to put yourself in good hands, do not hesitate to make a free initial consultation at our assisted reproduction clinic.