There’s renewed focus yet again on having babies in your forties – with a survey apparently showing that nearly 70% of women think having a child in your fifth decade is too old.
Reasons given by survey participants include the health risks for both mother and baby and the ability to cope as an older parent, but despite this the number of first-time mothers in their 40s has risen over the past five years by more than 15 per cent according to NHS figures.
Building careers rather than family, ensuring financial stability and not meeting the right partner are just some of the causes why motherhood is delayed by so many across the UK, often many women would like to have had a baby earlier in life but circumstances have meant this hasn’t happened.
If you’re an older woman and would like a family, there are ways that we can help. Your options include:
Having a baby on your own:At Manchester Fertility we help many women to have a baby on their own. We have no waiting list for treatment using donor sperm and all of our donors are from the UK and identifiable to any children which are born using their sperm. Donor insemination takes place at our clinic and you can choose a donor from our donor bank who has the characteristics and profile you are looking for.
Trying for a baby naturally:By undergoing a Fertility MOT test, we can tell you your ovarian reserve – this is an indication of how many eggs you have remaining – and whether you would have any issues affecting natural conception. Fertility MOT can give you an idea of your current fertility status, and that of your partner. Dependent upon the results, you may decide that you wish to try for a baby naturally, but it’s important to be aware that natural fertility does decline with age. We will be able to advise you on next steps once we have your results. You can also opt for our Mini MOT.
Ovarian stimulation:If you are ovulating irregularly or are not ovulating at all, we can use drugs to stimulate your ovaries to produce an egg. You can then try for a baby naturally around the time of ovulation. Ovarian stimulationcan also be used in conjunction with a cycle of IVF/ICSI or intrauterine insemination using either your partner’s or donor sperm.
Using a donor egg:If you are above a certain age or your results show that the outcome of treatment such as IVF will be poor, then we may recommend the use of a donor egg. All of our egg donors are women aged between 18 and 35 who are donating either through our egg-sharing programme or altruistically to help other women have a child. We have no waiting lists for treatment using donor eggs.
Our fertility specialists will explain to you which treatment may be the best option for you dependent upon your diagnosis and circumstances. If you are an older woman and you have been trying for a baby for some time without success, we do recommend that you seek help sooner rather than later because the longer you wait the more your fertility declines as you age.
If you’ve not conceived within six months visit your GP or book in for one of our Fertility MOT tests to get an accurate picture of your fertility status.