In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Age: Important Factors By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on January 30, 2015

A couple together smilingWhen patients come to Houston Fertility Center, they can expect answers for all questions they may have related to advanced fertility treatments. This includes ample information on in vitro fertilization (IVF), one of the most popular options for assisted reproduction treatment. Since many patients ask us about IVF and age, we wanted to address these matters in a bit of detail right now.

Does age affect the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process?


While in vitro fertilization (IVF) does make pregnancy possible for couples of different ages, the age of the patient (particularly for women) affects both the potential success of IVF process and the health of the child.

Studies have shown that younger women tend to achieve greater success when it comes to IVF, and that the rates of miscarriage and birth defects increase the older a woman is when she undergoes IVF.

What is an ideal age to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF)?

The best ages to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) tend to be in the 20s through the early-to-mid 30s.

This is a woman's peak years of fertility and reproductive health. During this stage of life, the risk of birth defects and miscarriage are generally lower, though individual health and genetic concerns obviously play a factor on an individual basis.

Is there an upper limit to age when it comes to in vitro fertilization (IVF)?

Most fertility specialists do not think it is advisable that in vitro fertilization (IVF) should be performed on patients who are 40 years old or older. It's usually around the 40s that the rates of miscarriage, birth defects, and other health matters increase. Consultations can still be performed on older women to assess their overall health and wellness and to go over viability for IVF as well as alternative solutions.

Does this age issue apply to men as well?

Yes, though not necessarily to the same degree.

Men can technically remain fertile through most of their lives, though studies have shown issues with sperm quality can develop with age, which contributes to the increased possibility of birth defects and other issues. Sperm and semen analysis can be performed to consider the viability of in vitro fertilization (IVF) using the sperm of an older male partner.

Options and Alternatives for Older Patients

If age becomes an issue for the in vitro fertilization (IVF), rest assured that there are plenty of options out there. For example, the use of donor eggs or donor sperm can greatly reduce the potential of miscarriage and birth defects. Similarly, having a surrogate carrier of a younger age can decrease the risk of miscarriage.

During your visit to the practice, we can discuss all options and alternatives for care in greater detail so that you understand all of the ways that you can have the child you have always wanted to have.

Schedule a Consultation at Houston Fertility Center

For additional information regarding in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproduction treatments that may benefit you, we encourage you to contact our team of fertility specialists today. At Houston Fertility Center, we will do whatever we can to help you start the family that you have always wanted to have.

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Dr. Sonja Kristiansen

Houston Fertility Center

Dr. Sonja Kristiansen is the founder and Medical Director of Houston Fertility Center. She is a board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist Infertility (REI) specialist who is proud to help hopeful parents fulfill their dreams of having children. Our center is affiliated with the:

  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine
  • Texas Medical Association

We provide convenient care for patients from greater Houston and visitors from out of town. For more information about our services, contact our office online or call (713) 225-5375 today.

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