Success after 40?

Hello, my second round of IVF was failed this week :(

They only managed to harvest one egg and it wasn't good enough to be fertilised. I took this badly. It was much harder than dealing with the first failed round earlier in the year because in the first round they got six eggs, five of them fertilized and they all seemed to be of decent quality and doing quite well. In the end we only got one blastocyst, but I was happy with that and even though it didn't implant and result in pregnancy, I felt that we had given it our best shot.

There were some big differences in my lifestyle between the first and second round. My bmi was 27 for the first round and so I tried to lose some weight to see if that would help. I did lose weight but only by having a poor diet and skipping meals. Also I did have a couple of nights out with about 4 glasses of wine on each one in the months before I started stimulating, which is when I think the eggs are developing. Also, I was working very hard during the second round and so had little leisure time and did no exercise. In contrast, I was swimming regularly, cycling, doing yoga and generally living a fairly healthy lifestyle prior to the first round.

I now feel like I would like to try one more time with my own eggs before I am 42, perhaps if I implement my healthy lifestyle again, I could repeat the 'success' of the first round and get a blastocyst. I definitely wouldn't try with my own eggs after 42, but part of me wonders if I am deluding myself and that I should just accept that I am too old (41 and a half). I know women do get pregnant at this age, but I wonder how realistic it is for someone with fertility problems to think they have ok chances in this IVF lottery?

14 Replies

  • Oh sweetie I do hope you win the lottery xx

    For me I tried three times with my own eggs before moving onto de. I'm 42. It's a very personal choice.

    Thinking of you x

  • Thank you for your reply. Can I ask what age you were when you stopped? I think I feel like one last go before I am 42 and then move onto donor eggs next year, but my partner did point out that there is a financial limit and one more try with my own eggs could be one less with donor eggs so it is a tough decision.

    By the way I love your posts about the cat. They are a real tonic and I will return to them again when I need cheered up again. I relayed the full cat story to my partner when he got home last night and it cheered him up too.

  • Last try with my eggs was at the end of last year, I was 41. I was advised to try de from the very beginning due improved percentage chances. I was told 5-10% with my eggs. 50-60% with donor - just due to my age. I've had two m/c and thinking there must be something wrong with me/eggs. The consultant went through the testing options and explained why she didn't think there was much point going down that route.

    I looked online and saw an American forum - a lady had posted something totally amazing. I can't word it so well, basically it made me realise it's probably going to be de or accept never experiencing pregnancy/birth. I don't want to look back and regret I didn't try everything. So I've chosen de. Again, personal choices and I think those who go for adoption are amazing. For various reasons, that's not an option for us.

    Glad you enjoyed the cat posts x I'm not sure whether to keep it going. The spammers do make me laugh.

  • Wanted to add to go with your gut feeling. If you want to try with you oe, do it. Mine decision was and still is really hard and I'm vey sensitive about it. My OH said he wasn't willing to spend 50k on ivf, we've spent a huge amount so far as not eligible for any nhs help due to my age.

    I've just had this feeling that it's not gonna work with my oe, maybe if we tried 8, 9, 10 times it might or keep trying other clinics. But, I've had to consider lots of factors, unfortunately, money being a big one, the thought of continual pain of further m/c's another and my desire to get off the ivf journey to get back to lots of other reasons. Good luck and I know you'll make the right decision for you x

  • I'm 42 and trying with my own eggs again. Last time 5 mature eggs all fertilized 2 made to blast 1 wasn't good enough to freeze. I had 2 implanted didn't work. Ready for 2 more goes with my own eggs. (Package deal with fertility clinic))

    The first round and only round of funding took almost 2 years!!! I believe this might have cost me my change and should have just gone private to begin with who knows what the outcome is. Good luck xx

  • Thanks for your reply. I know what you mean about UK clinics wasting time, which is precious for us older women. We were kept waiting before my first round and then half way though my second round there was more stalling due to the high ethical standards and extra bureaucracy in the UK

  • If you're not ready to 'give up' on your own eggs, go for it. What have you got to lose?

  • We were advised we only had a 5% chance with my eggs. One round on highest dose of menopur did nothing. So we decided to go down the DE route. If I thought another round with my own eggs would have worked I might have tried again but in a way am glad we didn't because we're about to go through round 3 with frozen DE. We couldn't have afforded to keep having full rounds. I think ulitimately we'd have gone for the option with the best chances. Saying that others here have tried with long odds and have been successful. It's a hard choice to make. Wishing you lots of luck xx

  • I'm so sorry to read this. It is so hard to feel like your body has failed you when you pin everything on getting just a few eggs. I really don't think you should be blaming your lifestyle at all. So many factors can impact what happens and sometimes it really is just luck, albeit it pretty sh*tty luck.

    I'm exactly the same age as you and still going to keep trying with my eggs - next round either end of this month or end of September, depending on AF timing. At this stage, there is nothing to say they are not good enough quality and I don't want to stop right now.

    One of my close friends has just had a successful round of IVF at 42 (this is her second successful one - with a good few unsuccessful in between) so I wouldn't write yourself off just yet. If you haven't already, read it starts with the egg and maybe ask about taking DHEA? I'd also really recommend some acupuncture, if you can afford it/are okay with it. My therapist has done wonders to sort out my cycle/hormones and support me with diet and other aspects of balancing life with IVF.

    Best of luck with whatever you decide but please don't think you are too old! Sending a hug xxx

  • I remember sitting in the Consultant office after my second failed NHS IVF cycle with him telling me I only had 5% chance of success with OE and to go down the DE route, I politely told him to shove it up his ####! I was 40. So 5 months later sat in private clinic discussing options at 41. Did 2 freeze all cycles ending with 6 blast, never had blasts before. First transfer ended in missed miscarriage 2nd resulted in my beautiful little girl who is now 8 months old. Who was from my 41 year old eggs. So basically regardless of your age and how healthy your lifestyle is fertility is a lottery and IVF is a numbers game and each cycle can be different even when you follow the same protocol. If you want to try again with own eggs then do so, but might be worth seeking out another clinic. Good luck.

  • I am trying to get pregnant via iui, I am not sure whether this is a good idea or not, cos I was advised to move on to ivf and egg donation really but I do not think that egg donation is for me at all, as it was said this is a very personal choice and no one can basically pressure you to go for de or something else unless you want it yourself. It is only up to you to decide what is better for you. We are too low on budget and are trying to do everything we can but I am still trying to do what feels right personally to me.

    I am 35 by the way.

  • I'll be 42 in November and have decided on DE. 1st cycle no response to stimms, 2nd cycle 20 follicles - 8 eggs - 1 blast but miscarried at 7 weeks. 3rd cycle only 2 eggs but BFN, 4th cycle 1 egg which got to blast but BFN. Consultant thinks the failures are due to low quality eggs and my pregnancy was just the best of a bad bunch.

    Still coming to terms with it all really and taking a bit of time out before starting DE. My sister adopted a baby but I know I want to be pregnant so need to try this first.

    Good luck with your journey. x

  • Hey, Im not quite 40 yet but will be in a few months. We've done a few cycles, 1st one wasa right off due to an ovarian cyst - they think.....the rest of my cycles went much better but still never acheived a pregnancy which they think is due to my "poor egg quality due to my age".

    1st cycle aged 38 - 6 eggs, 4 fertilised and all died by day 3.

    2nd cycle aged 39 (taking DHEA) - 6 eggs, 6 fertilised, 2 compacting blasts - BFN (0 frozen)

    3rd cycle aged 39 (taking DHEA) - 9 eggs, 8 mature, 6 fertilised, 1 good blast - BFN (0 frozen)

    In an ideal world I would really have like to have tried my own eggs at a different clinic however due to the low odds and the fact that we cant keep going and going for financial reasons we decided to move onto DE. Its not been an easy decision by any means, my hubby said we could realistically do one more then one DE but I knew deep down he thought that spelled failure. After much fighting with myself I knew deep down too that to give ourselves the best chance that DE was the way forward and we could probably stretch to 2 cycles abroad. Its a tough decision, IVF is a massive lottery and a numbers game unfortunately and although older ladies do fall pregnancy the numbers are so low and due to the fact that Ive never been pregnant before doesnt help! Now that we've made our decision Im quite excited to get started and we dont have long to wait now!

    Best of luck in what you decide to do!xx

  • Thanks for all your replies. Hearing about your individual situations helps with the isolation.

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