We shouldn't be making assumptions that every older mother did donor egg, nor should we put too much hope in stories of much older women conceiving with their own eggs.
Look at the trends, and make your own decision about how long you want to fight the trend by trying with your own eggs, vs. deciding that the time has come to accept that the odds are just so stacked against you that you must move on to other alternatives.
Remember, too, that is really is not all "age related." I apparently lost my egg quality in my late 20's, as do some women. Others retain their fertility into their 50's.
An Israeli RE [reproductive endocrinologist] named Neri Laufer just discovered a gene in certain women that corresponds to later fertility. He was fascinated by the number of older pregnant women coming into the hospital for delivery.
You can google his name if you want to read about it. His group included women up into their early 50's. So much for any stats showing that NO women conceive in this age group!
For those who just can't let go of the belief that all pregnant women over 45 must have used donor eggs, consider the population that Laufer studied. These were mostly, if not all, ultra-religious women for whom DE [donor eggs] would have been prohibited.
Imagine you have 10 kids already, you're living on government assistance and still exist below the poverty line, donor egg is not offered in your country, and your religious leader forbids the procedure anyway.
Now you tell me -- all these women secretly squirreled away thousands of dollars, disappeared from their communities for a couple of weeks to go to the Ukraine, defied their religious teachings, all in an effort to get pregnant with baby #11? Use your common sense!
The same can be applied to the Native American women living on reservations. Many have a lot of kids already and can't afford groceries let alone donor egg IVF cycles. The problem with middle and upper class American women like us is that we think we are representative of every group (and our RE's [reproductive endocrinologist] promote that thinking too, because they are victims of the same egocentric system).
If it becomes impossible for us to conceive after age 43, well, then, that must be true of everyone. Only it's not true. It's really not even true for our demographic.
RE's choose to present certain information based on the context. When they are counseling a 40 yr old with high FSH [follicle stimulating hormone] about her treatment options, of course they are going to highlight fertility trends in the general population and the success rates of certain treatment options because this is what is relevant to her. The goal is to get her a baby, not turn her into a rare statistic.
She has to make an informed decision based on medical facts as to what will give her the best odds of success. After age 40 and with high FSH, that's donor egg.
But if you ask that same doctor in another context, say, a conversational context, about much older women conceiving, he will concede that yes, it is absolutely possible and does happen, though not as often as we would like.
If he subscribes to the notion that no women get pregnant naturally after 45, then he's an idiot and you should get another doctor -- it means he's not up on basic information in his field.
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