Premature ovarian aging expert urges older fertility patients to strive for timely diagnosis and treatment

Women trying to get pregnant after age 40 should be particularly insistent on getting timely diagnosis and effective treatments, advises Dr. Norbert Gleicher. Dr. Gleicher offers several fertility tips for women over 40 struggling with infertility.

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February 29, 2012 (New York, NY) – With a growing number of women seeking pregnancy at older ages, especially after age 40, timely evaluation and diagnosis of infertility are becoming ever more important. However, timely infertility diagnosis remains elusive for many patients, according to Norbert Gleicher, MD, a prominent fertility specialist and expert on ovarian aging.

"It's not that every woman needs fertility treatment to get pregnant once she hits age 40," says Dr. Gleicher, Medical Director of the Center for Human Reproduction (CHR), a New York-based fertility center. However, as the "fertility center of last resort for older women," explains Dr. Gleicher, "CHR sees a large number of women over 40; Many, unfortunately, have wasted precious time pursuing endless tests and treatments that make little sense."

As women get older, their ovarian reserve (a measure of ovaries' ability to produce good-quality eggs) declines. Because this process of ovarian aging speeds up significantly after age 40, timely diagnosis of infertility becomes crucial. Every fertility treatment loses efficacy rapidly with declining ovarian reserve.

Dr. Gleicher continues: "There isn't a day when we don't hear our patients say 'doctor, I wish I'd known about your center years ago, when I was doing such and such...' The earlier we can start treatment, the better, of course, our chances of helping our patients!"

According to Dr. Gleicher, there are a number of tips women who are trying to get pregnant after 40 can follow in order to receive timely infertility diagnosis and effective treatment:

  • Recognize the urgency of aggressive fertility treatment when you are above 40.
  • Insist on rapid diagnosis and a structured treatment plan.
  • Insist on specific treatment goals that meet your expectations: for example, do not agree to treatment with clomiphene citrate and intrauterine insemination (IUI) if the expected pregnancy chance sounds ridiculously low.
  • Do not agree to endless testing to "wait for the right results;" Time is not on your side, and results will only get worse!
  • It never hurts to get a second opinion.

About Center for Human Reproduction
Center for Human Reproduction, or CHR, is a leading fertility center in the United States with a worldwide reputation as a "fertility center of last resort," specializing in treatment of infertility in women with diminished ovarian reserve, including younger women with premature ovarian aging (POA) and older women with physiological ovarian aging. Dr. Gleicher is available for additional comments.

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Last Updated: October 24, 2013