Improvements in IVF in women of advanced age.

IVF success rates for women over 40 can improve with pretreatment targeting the early stages of egg development.

Published in Journal of Endocrinology

Women above age 40 years in the US now represent the most rapidly growing age group having children. Patients undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) are rapidly aging in parallel. Especially where egg donations are legal, donation cycles, therefore, multiply more rapidly than autologous IVF cycles. The donor oocytes, however, are hardly ever a preferred patient choice. Since with use of own eggs, live birth rates decline with advancing age but remain stable (and higher) with donor eggs, older patients always face the difficult and very personal choice between poorer chances with own and better chances with donor oocytes. Physician contribution to this decision should in our opinion be restricted to accurate outcome information for both options. Achievable pregnancy and live birth rates in older women are, however, frequently underestimated, thereby mistakenly biasing fertility providers, private insurance companies and even regulatory government agencies. Restriction on access to IVF for older women is then often the consequence. In this review, we summarize the limited published data on best treatments of ‘older‘ ovaries, while also addressing treatment approaches that should be avoided in older women. This focused review, therefore, to a degree is subjective. Research addressing aging ovaries in IVF has been disappointingly sparse, and has in our opinion too heavily concentrated on methods of embryo selection (ES), which, especially in older women, not only fail to improve IVF outcomes, but actually, negatively affect live birth chances. We conclude that, aside from breakthroughs in gamete creation, only pharmacological interventions into early (small growing follicle stages) follicle maturation will offer new potential to positively impact oocyte and embryo quality and, therefore, IVF outcomes. Research, therefore, should be accordingly redirected.

Norbert Gleicher, MD, leads CHR’s clinical and research efforts as Medical Director and Chief Scientist. A world-renowned reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. Gleicher has published hundreds of peer-reviewed papers and lectured globally while keeping an active clinical career focused on ovarian aging, immunological issues and other difficult cases of infertility.

Citation Page #: 230(1):F1-6
Journal: Journal of Endocrinology
Author Publication: Gleicher N, Kushnir VA, Albertini DF, Barad DH.
Publication Link:
Date: 2016