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Waiting to Start a Family: Options to Preserve your Fertility

Find more options to preserve your fertility

College. Career. Marriage. Baby. The new natural order in a woman’s life sometimes wreaks havoc on nature’s design for fertility. Studies show that approximately 20% of women wait until after age 35 to begin their families. Society tells women that they can have it all without warning them that waiting too long to have a baby may interfere with a woman’s ability to conceive. For women over 35, starting a family may not happen as easily as expected. However, you can preserve your fertility.

Information can empower you to make choices now that can help enhance, protect or preserve your fertility. At Texas Fertility Center, we see women who need to preserve their fertility when faced with cancer or other diseases. We also celebrate successful pregnancies with women well into their 40s.

Fertility facts for women

You are born with a finite number of eggs, which are in your ovaries. As you age, so do your eggs. No shot or pill can reverse the process. That’s why the fertility window typically remains very open in your 20s and starts closing in your later 20s to mid-30s. By 40, the chances of getting pregnant on your own fall to 5%.

Celebrities like Nicole Kidman, Madonna and Jennifer Aniston may unwittingly reinforce the notion that getting pregnant can occur at any age. What the headlines and cute baby pictures don’t reveal is that happy Hollywood endings often occur as a direct result of assisted reproductive technology. In fact, partnering with a fertility doctor can actually increase your chances by as much as 88%.

Options for preserving your fertility

Texas Fertility Center’s reproductive endocrinologists and fertility lab can determine your ovarian reserve as well as any other barriers to pregnancy.

Treatment options may include IVF or IUI and the following advanced reproductive technologies:

Donor eggs and/or donor sperm with or without a gestational carrier
Your path to pregnancy may involve eggs from either a known or anonymous donor. This is typically considered if the ovarian reserve is very low and other treatments are unlikely to be successful.

Elective egg freezing
Also known as ooctye cryopreservation, this option helps women who have been diagnosed with cancer, lupus, Turners syndrome or other health threats that involve chemotherapy, radiation or surgical intervention. Women with a family history of early menopause also may benefit from elective egg freezing. Still others choose it as a proactive measure to preserve their fertility.

Advances in ooctye cryopreservation may increase the chances for a successful pregnancy, but it is still considered an experimental treatment. .

Embryo freezing
You can choose to freeze and store excess embryos not transferred in your IVF cycle for use at a future date. This provides two advantages: a less costly subsequent “frozen embryo” cycle and the chance to ‘stop time’ at the age you produced the embryo. This process also helps couples that choose to preserve and protect their fertility.

If you are over 35 and considering starting a family, talk with a fertility doctor now to find out what steps you can take to maximize your chances. Advances in reproductive technology have given thousands of couples reason to hope and to have successful outcomes. Contact us to learn more about how to preserve your fertility.

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