Frozen Embryos Help Woman Become a Mother for the First Time at Age 50

LA Weekly: Photo by Danny Liao

Ariane Fleiderman met her husband when they were both in their mid-40’s, but despite their age, the couple wanted to have children together. Her husband, Mauricio Bourges, already had children and wanted Fleiderman to experience the joy of parenthood for herself so they began trying soon after they met. After several miscarriages and unsuccessful IVF treatments, they felt like they were running out of options until their doctor suggested a frozen embryo transfer. Fleiderman was matched with a couple in Arizona by her Reproductive Endocrinologist and received their 6 embryos. She became pregnant, and at age 50, gave birth to twins.

Fleiderman’s age at the time of birth actually had little effect on the success of the pregnancy with frozen embryos. The reason many women experience fertility issues as they get older is not usually because their body is incapable of carrying a pregnancy successfully; it’s much more often due to the quality of their eggs. A woman’s body is born with a certain number of eggs, and that’s the number she’ll have her entire life. As she ovulates over the course of her fertile years, she releases those eggs monthly. As she gets older, the remaining eggs may not be as healthy, strong, or numerous and it can result in more problems getting pregnant.

In cases of frozen embryos, it’s the age of the biological mother that matters. If she uses her eggs to create embryos when she is younger, those embryos are more likely to be viable despite what age she (or anyone else) is when they are used in the future. That’s how Fleiderman and her husband were able to become parents for the first time in their 50’s, and why women who delay pregnancy have reason to hope.

Many embryo adoption programs have maximum age limits for the adopting mother and father.  This is because the donor family is selecting the adopting family and they are giving consideration to future parenting success.  Women over 45 who are interested in using frozen embryos to achieve pregnancy will likely have more success securing embryos through a fertility clinic embryo donation program rather than an embryo adoption agency.  If you’d like to learn more about embryo adoption, visit us at www.embryoadoption.org.

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