Age and IVF: Understanding the link
In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is often used as a treatment option for couples who are having difficulty conceiving, and it can be an effective option for many people.
One factor that can impact the success of IVF is the age of the woman undergoing treatment. However, there are a number of things that you can do to optimise your chances of success.
As a woman gets older, her fertility begins to decline. This decline is gradual in the early years, but it becomes more pronounced as a woman approaches her mid-30s and beyond. By the time a woman reaches her late 30s, her chance of achieving a pregnancy through IVF is lower than it was in her early 30s. This is because the quantity and quality of her eggs begin to decline.
According to data from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the live birth rate per IVF cycle for women under 35 in the UK is 29.5%. For women aged 35 and over, the live birth rate drops.
However, it's important to not worry too much about this. It's worth noting that these figures are averages, and some women in their late 30s and early 40s can still achieve successful pregnancies through IVF. Setting yourself up for success before your IVF treatment can significantly help your chances.
The impact of age on success rates is also not confined to women. As men age, the quality of their sperm may decline in the same way that women's fertility does. This can have an effect on the success of IVF treatments.
Morphology, motility and DNA fragmentation are three key aspects of sperm health that can be affected by age. Morphology is the shape of the sperm and with age this can become increasingly irregular, making it more difficult for it to fertilize an egg. Motility is the speed and movement of the sperm and as men age, this can decrease, making it harder for the sperm to reach the egg. DNA fragmentation is the condition of the sperm's genetic material and when sperm age, this can become fragmented, making it harder for the sperm to fertilise the egg.
Whilst this information may be alarming, it's vital to understand that age is not the only factor that affects the success of IVF and there is a lot that you can do to improve your chances of success. We have highlighted two key factors below.
Nutrition is a vital factor when it comes to IVF success because it plays a critical role in the reproductive health of both the woman and the man who are undergoing the treatment. Proper nutrition can help increase fertility, aid in maintaining a healthy weight, reduce the risk of miscarriage, and increase the chance of a successful pregnancy.
Eating a balanced diet rich in essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids can help support the body and provide the necessary nutrients for a successful IVF cycle.
Dietary supplements are important for successful IVF outcomes because they can provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals that are needed for a healthy pregnancy. Supplements can also help to balance hormones, support the immune system, improve egg quality, and increase the chances of a successful implantation.
There are some common areas of lifestyle, which are associated and generally well known when it comes to fertility outcomes, such as smoking, drinking and a sedentary lifestyle.
However, mindset and wellbeing are major factors that can impact success with IVF. Are you stressed? Is your work-life balance healthy? Taking care of yourself emotionally and managing your stress and anxiety levels can make a big difference
To learn more about how you can improve your chances of IVF success, click here.
IVF can be an effective treatment option for those who are having difficulty conceiving, but the success of the treatment can be affected by the age of both the woman and man. However, it's important to know that there are small changes that you can make with your diet and lifestyle that can be extremely beneficial.
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