Infertility Treatment After 35: What Are the Options?

Women who are 35 or older often find it difficult to become pregnant, but there are a number of infertility treatment options available. Women who have trouble getting pregnant after age 35 are at risk for miscarriage and for having children with genetic defects. However, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) can increase fertility rates significantly.
Studies show that a woman’s success rate with fertility treatments begins to fade after the age of 35 but that does not mean that getting pregnant is impossible. If you are 35 years of age or older, consider the following infertility treatments:

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Procedures After 35

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) procedures involve manually combining an egg and sperm in a lab environment and then placing the embryo in the uterus. Women who are 35 years of age or older can benefit from the embryo transfer process and may be required o take certain medications along with the procedure so that the ovaries produce more progesterone during the implantation process. There are minimal risks involved with the procedure and the entire process is relatively painless. 

Egg Donors After 35

An alternative to the IVF procedure is getting an egg donor. According to the Center for Disease Control, women who used an egg donor at the age of 40 had a success rate of about 45%, considerably higher than in vitro fertilization. Egg donors may be an attractive option for women who have not had success with in vitro fertilization and other fertility treatments. The egg donor is usually younger than 35 years of age (typical age range is 21 to 35) and they must be fit and healthy. Many IVF clinics around the United States participate in an egg donor program.

Lifestyle Changes to Increase Fertility After 35

Some fertility experts recommend making certain lifestyle changes to increase fertility. A woman’s body responds well to conception only under certain conditions, so dietary habits, stress and exercise can all have an effect on the woman’s fertility rate. Eating too many fatty foods, smoking cigarettes or alcohol consumption can all reduce fertility levels so a health care provider will need to assess daily lifestyle habits before making a recommendation on a treatment plan.
Undergoing a hormone level check is another important part of fertility treatments. The amount of progesterone, thyroid hormone and estrogen are all critical factors for getting pregnant. A hormone level check can be a key indicator of whether a woman be able to get pregnant. Some of the key lifestyle changes to increase fertility after 35 include:
  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating a well-balanced diet
  • Consuming essential vitamins and minerals
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Quitting smoking
  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule
  • Reducing stress
  • Increasing sexual satisfaction
Learn more about the latest infertility treatments in our information guide, or consult with a fertility specialist in your area to find out if you are a good candidate for a fertility treatment plan after the age of 35.