New study shows IVF success rates drop after age 37

12th December 2013 in IVF

This information was correct at the time of publishing. It may not reflect our current practices, prices or regulations.

A new study has been published which indicates that women who undergo IVF at age 37 or older have significantly less chance of it working than younger women.

The research by the University of Aberdeen, which analysed data from over 121,000 women who had undergone their first cycle of IVF using their own eggs, found that a woman’s age at the time of her IVF treatment affects the outcome of every stage of the treatment.

The results explain why some women have IVF failure, even when they respond well to stimulation, with enough eggs retrieved and embryos replaced. It also found that success rates decline when a woman reaches her mid-30s and more sharply after age 37.

So with all this in mind, how can we predict the outcome of your IVF treatment, especially if you are aged 37 and over?

It’s a fact that IVF success rates do decrease as you age, and this is typically related to the quality of your eggs and how you respond to stimulation and embryo replacement. Younger women have higher IVF success rates mostly because their eggs are younger, and are of better quality, than older women as natural fertility declines when you reach your mid-30s.

But this doesn’t mean that IVF will always fail once you reach a certain age. At Manchester Fertility we assess your personal medical diagnosis and medical history, in order to advise you on the best treatment, for the highest chance of success.

We will never encourage you to attempt any infertility treatment which we don’t feel will work. We use many different factors when recommending treatment, including your age, personal medical history of you and your partner (if relevant), test results and how well you respond to stimulation for IVF. And although there are standard protocols for IVF treatment, these can be adapted by our specialist team to meet your individual diagnosis to ensure any treatment given is tailored exactly to you.

We do not recommend IVF with your own eggs for example, if you are aged 44 or above. This is because success rates are so low, and as such we would recommend IVF with a donor egg.

So although it’s well known that IVF success rates do drop the older you get, please be assured that IVF – and indeed any treatment we offer – is only recommended to you if our specialist consultants and fertility experts believe it to be your best option to have your family.

Read more here about your options to have your family in our Guide for Older Women. 

Last updated: 20th January 2020