A Taste of IVF Over 40

A Baby is a Baby is a Baby?

Posted on: Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What do you think?

I’ve been talking to my husband and his view is that we just go straight for my niece’s donated eggs.  Don’t worry about going to Sydney IVF, don’t waste time with more cycles; start putting our effort into something with a better chance of success.

I can’t blame him.  He’s nearly 50.  He doesn’t want to wait any longer.  He’s sick of me being sad.  He doesn’t want me to finally get pregnant when he’s 53.  If I go to Sydney IVF that would mean a lot of headaches with travel.

The question I keep asking myself is “How strong is my desire to use my own eggs?”  I don’t think it’s that strong any more.  If I use my niece’s eggs we can still attend Melbourne IVF.  When I look at the child I’m sure I will only ever see my own child.  Maybe I’m having a major paradigm shift.  This whole journey, it’s been about getting my old eggs to work.  Well, I think I’ve changed my mind.

I’m considering just going straight to my niece’s eggs.  I feel like a cheat.  Theoretically my eggs are still sort of OK.  But I’ve just about given up trying to kick them into action. 

Please let me know what you think.  Will I regret it later?  You can post anonymously.


22 Responses to "A Baby is a Baby is a Baby?"

If your niece is truly willing to do this for you, I say you go for it. It sounds like you’ve put your body through a lot and odds are probably lowish for this to work with your own eggs after your several attempts. That’s a very difficult thing to deal with I understand. However, think of it this way: genetically, a niece or nephew will be the closest thing to you after a child of your own and your siblings. You’d share more genetically with your niece than one of your parents. And her youth increases the chances that an IVF procedure would work. It’s a hard decision to make. Good luck!

Hey my dear – I am really sorry this didn’t work.

It is tough one – my assvice is give it one more go with Sydney IVF or even try Monash? I am a big fan of giving a clinic a good go – and if it is not working for you – try somewhere else with a different plan of attack. Portia P (last cycled in Feb and is now 26 weeks pregnant) is a great example.

I also think the culture the clinics grow the embryo has a lot to do with success – and at least trying to get a day three transfer.

On the donor front – the counselling is very comprehensive – they want you to be 100 percent sure you are ready to do donor eggs. They mentioned to me a lot about ‘grieving my fertility’- which is a very good way of putting it. I last cycled in December – and the counsellor asked if I needed more time to grieve.

I don’t think you should make any decisions so close to a negative test.

And I would be having a good hard think about what is good for you – what in the long term is going to make YOU happy. I suspect that is one more go.

Sorry if I am overstepping the mark here. I hope you are doing okay.


Ooops sorry – I sent last post that with no name on it.

I’m sorry that you have to make a hard decision. From reading your posts I think you really want to give it one more try with your own eggs. As Andi said, you could try a different clinic or how’s about just consulting a different specialist?
Just make sure you have all the information to be able to make your decision.

I’m not at the point where I have to make this decision (yet) so my opinion is that of one still trying to make a go with what we have. And I know this may sound like a silly comparison, but I try to think about it like my dog and cats. Regardless of where they came from I’m sure that there is not more love that I can give them – they’re pretty full up on it. If donor eggs were successful and you had a baby in your arms, I don’t see how you could ever regret it.

That said, I can also understand the driving desire to have someone out of there of your own genetic makeup. We’re still there ourselves.

I can’t tell you what to do but I’ve been so happy to leave egg quality worries behind by going with a donor. I’m now pregnant and enjoying the extra security that comes with young eggs. I wouldn’t look for perfect closure after losing the genetic link – I think we will all grieve that loss in bits and pieces. The baby you carry (or acquire) is your baby, for always, but everyone gets to that place from a different route.

I am so, so sorry for your losses. I had one failed ivf attempt several years ago, then got pregnant two weeks after laproscopic suregry for endometriosis. Now, 4 years later, I am currently attempting IVF again after no further success in our attempts for a sibling for our daughter. I know it’s not an apples to apples comparison to your situation, since I do have my own biologic child…but, I know that if a 23 year old woman (especially a relative), I would take them up on the offer in a heartbeat. No matter what you and your husband decide, I wish you the very best. Gog bless you!

Oh sweetie it’s such a tough spot to be in. These are the thoughts that go through my head on the subject… but I’m not you, it has to be your decision.

If you use donor eggs but you’re the birth mother, I don’t see how bonding would be an issue, nor would you be likely to regret it. And I believe the counseling is pretty thorough too.

My only concerns would be that eggs from such a young donor are unproven, she may be no more fertile than you. Also, what if your problem is with implantation?

I know that you are time sensitive, but my assvice would be to do some more investigative testing, if you haven’t already, to make sure its not an implantation problem.

You’re lucky your husband is happy to use donor gametes, at least that’s one less thing to worry about. My thoughts are with you, choose the option that sits best with you.

I’d think about the non-genetic link. Do you like the genetics of the parent that’s not related to you? Is the heritage similar? What about IQ, height, weight, hair & eye color? If you’re happy with all that, then seems like no red flags. With my niece, there is a genetic abnormality on the other side, so in the unlikely case she’d offer her eggs, I’d do PGS.

If there are no red flags, genetically speaking, I’d personally take the niece up on her offer. What if her life changes in six months and she’s no longer in a position to help you out (maybe she’ll be working on her own baby then, who knows).

You likely won’t have to worry so much about fragmentation, about embryos making it to blast, about having some to freeze, about genetic abnormalities, about miscarriage. It could be a really great , easy, minimal-worry experience.

All I know is from my experience, and my old eggs are a pain in the ass. But if my current cycle works, then I may change my tune and decide that HGH is the holy grail for egg quality.

I can relate to the almost-50 husband, mine is 47 and I worry about his age as a dad. But either route you go, it won’t make a major difference in time, right? One more with your own eggs would only eat up 2-3 months, nothing major.

Well seeing you asked….does this mean we don’t need to add the mandatory “using donor eggs is such a personal decision…..”?

I fully understand that pressure of wanting to be a parent before an advanced age. My FS tells me I can be treated at my clinic until the age of 51 if using donor eggs. That does not comfort me at all. Desperate though I am for a baby, I know I will get to a point very soon when I feel I am too old in every way to be a parent. As things are, I quite often feel too old now…I blame IVF for ageing me rapidly!

We know it is possible for women over 40 to get pregnant using their own eggs in IVF. Are you even 41 yet? You say that your FS said you’d only have a year in your own eggs…has this opinion been supported by testing and findings other than the standard FS thought that starts out with the words; “after 40 a woman’s eggs are….” Is your current FS the only specialist you have spoken to since returning to to IVF as an ‘older’ woman?

A baby IS a baby. If I had donor eggs available to me I would grab them so quickly! I would save the time I am now currently wasting on IVF with little chances of success and do something to put me seriously in the path of parenthood.

My new FS claims that current donor egg statistics show a 60% chance of pregnancy in older women…compared with the less than 10% I am currently battling against.

However, I speak as an almost 44 year old who has never had a pregnancy.

Your body can do this, that has been proven.

Is there a way you could promise yourself, say one more cycle with your own eggs – but this time shop around for further FS advice? Decide on you own limit for working with your own eggs, rather than allowing the FSs to dictate this to you.

I know one brave 40+ IVFer soul who secretly saw two other FSs to test the variation in response. She eventually put these recommendations to her previously reluctant current FS and got new protocols and more testing from an FS who had given up on her. Her results have improved significantly.

I will keep trying IVF with my own eggs until I am 45. With no donor in sight I have no other choice. While I have nothing against DE I am uncertain that you have exhausted all avenues with your own eggs….please tell me I am wrong if I am missing vital information here. Find indisputable proof that your eggs are rotten and move on, otherwise see what else can be done in the way of protocols, FSs and even clinics.

Good luck!

It is such a hard decision to make and such a personal one. “Will I regret it later?” If you think you might answer with even a weak “yes,” then maybe you should consider one last round or at least investigative testing as someone mentioned earlier. I have heard that there is great counseling that goes along with using a DE, so at least professionals can help (serve as the third party objective view). I understand your husband’s position. My husband already wants to go to donor egg (we will be starting attempt 2 this fall). Age is a partial factor for him (he’s 45), but I think primarily for him it is the stress of seeing me go through this with smaller chance of sucees than with DE. I told him it was just too important right now for me to feel like I had tried everything I could to use my own eggs, but I am open to the possibility of DE in the future. At this moment, I don’t know when I’ll cross that gap–how many attempts?

If you try once more, maybe you could talk to your husband about his concerns and that you need one more try. On the other hand, if you are at DE level in your mind, then maybe it is time to move forward on that front. Maybe go to a counseling session or two for using DE at the same time that you seek a second opinion about the viability of your own eggs? With all of that information, then make a decision.

I am very sorry that this past attempt failed. You and your husband sound like you have a good relationship with open communication. I wish you all the best as you determine what’s best for your situation. I look forward to your updates.

I think your very last question “Will I regret it later?” is easy to answer. NO. You won’t end up regretting either path. Your goal is a child. And once you hold one in your arms, and it’s yours – no matter how that child came into being – then you will never even contemplate regret. Having said that, if I were in your shoes (and I’m not, so weigh this assvice accordingly), I would try not to focus on whether you’ll regret something later, which I truly believe you won’t, but what works best for your life now. How much more can you take? Is the biological link worth the strain, both mental and physical, that you’ll need to go through (with no guarantees) to get there? Those are the real questions I think you need to ask. There’s some very good advice from these commenters, including not to make a decision so close to an unsuccessful cycle, and also the question on how long your niece will be available for the donor cycles. I look at her youth as a good thing. Yes, she may be sub-fertile (but probably not), but since she’s young and (I’m assuming) single, she may not have some of the issues of someone older or married. Once a spouse is in the picture, it’s oftentimes no longer the gift of one, and must pass muster with the spouse as well. Not always the case, but sometimes.

I wouldn’t presume to tell you what to do, only to wish you great happiness and success in whichever path you choose. I can tell you how we’re doing it though. I’m 42. I bought into the older-mother media bullshit. I’ve been through multiple IUI’s and IVF. I managed to get pregnant with IVF, but a pregnancy at this age is not a success, and mine wasn’t. After recovering both emotionally and physically from that, I’m just so damned done. I’m going to try to cycle and get to IVF one more time because my husband wants me to give it one more shot, but then I’m running, not walking to the donor clinic. I’m sick of the stress. I’m sick of being out of shape, I’m sick of the needles, and most of all, I’m sick of a 2% – 5% success rate for IVF and my age group. And I know that just because I get pregnant doesn’t mean a thing for me personally. I’m ready to give it a shot with something that’s got better odds. I know donor isn’t perfect either, but that in itself is a long process, and I’m just ready to have a child. I want to get this show on the road. I don’t much care about the genetics. Hell, I’m so damned sick of all this I pretty much wouldn’t care if the child was purple and covered in fur. I can think of a few really good reasons to skip my gene pool anyway, so there’s always that spin on it. 🙂

There are no wrong answers here. Whatever you do will be right for you. I hope whichever way you go gives you peace and a child of your own.

Brilliant clarifying post. I have frequently come back to re-read your comment J, and am thankful for your thoughts. Plus, “purple and covered in fur” makes me chuckle every time I read it.

Those are my thoughts.i had 6 ivf now 30 Weeks pregnant with Embryo Donation. Sick&tired of Treatments and Feeling myself like a failure plus i think that those Treatments Might have longterm Effects.now curious to meet my “furry” Son, we Don t get younger and Children deserve the Best of us, ivf seemed to Harm me at the end at least emotionally.

To ‘J’,

I don’t know who you are or where you come from but I LOVE your comments! Melbagirl xo

I’m 31. I’ve done 5 IVF in the past 2 years. Our problems is always the quality of the embryos. We never have any left to be frozen or any that make it to day 5 for transfer. My frist RE told me to use the donor egg after 3 failed IVF, but I wasn’t ready yet at that time (I was 29). Until I switched to a new RE. I still didn’t get BFP from 2 IVF with him. He doesn’t believe that I have eggs quality problem. But from all the BFNs I’ve had, it makes me change my thought about the egg donor. My hubby said that he doesn’t care at all where or how the baby comes from. He is going to love our baby, no matter what. I realize that our goal is the baby not just only to get pregnant. So we are thinking about using the egg donor next round. I hope you have the best way for yourself. Take care.

PS:sorry for my poor English, I’m not an English speaker.

I am in the sme boat after IVF x 4 , max 4 eggs and one fert and not BFPs. I am in the grieving stage now and summing up the courage to take the next step. I will go back to see our DR and will discuss embryo donors. I don’t have anyone at hand to help me so I will maybe look at the advertising way????? At nearly 41 I just think iut would be better to try fresh young eggs. I don’t care about the “my egg” side of things any more…not fussed at all…when I had my fist egg retreival the lady next to me was a donor for another couple and it was so lovely watching them. I cried when I was told I only had 4 eggs and I heard them all so happpy that she got 27 eggs. I knew that day that that might be my reality…and they were all so happy I remember them and hoped for the best.We had our tranfers the same day and I have not seen that lady again so I am hoping she did get pregnant straight away! Well now I just hope I can find a gorgeous woman to donate for us out there. I would take your neices offer in a flash! Let us know how you go. I am now two weeks past last failure and starting to feel ready for the next episode what ever that may…but I am sure glad to be off the harsh routine of things that is for sure!!!!!!


I’m so sorry to hear your news.

My husband (58) and I (41 this month) have done ICSI twice. We have a low fertilization rate even with ICSI – total is 10 good eggs and 1 fertilized. We will likely go ahead and try ICSI one more time. After that we are looking at the new treatment IMSI (where the selected sperm is magnified many more times than with ICSI – this is suppose to help them select healthier sperm). Read this article in the Times for more info: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article4282460.ece

You will see that fertilization and pregnancy rates are 13% higher than ICSI and miscarriage rates are lower. Unfortunately, this procedure is not yet offered in Canada where we live. So, we may need to travel to California where at least one clinic notes on their website that they are looking into offering it. Time is running out for us.

If IMSI does not work for us, we will move to adoption.

Thinking of you…

Use donor eggs. You’ve given it the old college try and this hasn’t worked. It’s unfortunate that doctors can’t tell you why when everything seems to point to the possibility of success, but after several tries, I think you know the answer. Trust me, the only thing you’ll regret is waiting any longer. Give yourself this wonderful gift. I have a DE child and a genetically related child. There is absolutely no difference in how I feel about them. In fact, the DE kid is just like me in so many ways!

I hope I haven’t been too blunt, but I hate to think of you putting off being a mom any longer when that’s clearly what you want. It’s a wonderful thing. Good luck.

I have no answers but I hope which ever way you go you don’t have to wait much longer. Take care.

I say go with the donor eggs. Believe me your baby will be YOUR baby regardless of where the egg came from! Get on to it ASAP. I wish you all the very best.

Hello my dear – how did you go with your niece?

Thinking of you and hoping you are doing fine.

Love Andi

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