There are many myths surrounding donor eggs, but especially when it comes to women wishing for motherhood at a later age. When couples decide to start a family and struggle to conceive, it can become very discouraging as time passes and nothing happens. However, with donor eggs as an option, getting pregnant in your 40s becomes more attainable for any hopeful couple. Take heart in knowing pregnancy in your 40’s myths are exactly that — myths.
Let’s explore some of the more common pregnancy over 40 myths
It's easy to get pregnant in your 40s – celebrities do it all the time!
False. Women are born with a finite number of eggs, and as they go through menstrual cycles, the number of eggs available that can result in pregnancy begin to decline. If a woman waits until she’s older to have children, the pool of eggs she has available haven’t only just aged, but her ovaries are sending fewer healthy eggs as well. In this sense, it’s more difficult to become pregnant in your 40s.
The good news is, with the use of healthy donor eggs, the likelihood of a woman in her 40s getting pregnant is nearly 70%.
If I can't get pregnant naturally, I just wasn't meant to be a mother.
False. This couldn't be further from the truth. If you and your partner have made the decision that having a family is your next step, then you deserve the opportunity to become a great parent. If you've struggled with getting pregnant, hope isn’t lost. Hold onto your desires and keep believing parenthood is in your future. The assistance of a donor egg bank, along with a medical center that performs IVF, could be the key to a successful and healthy pregnancy.
I'm healthy, fit, and have no medical issues. Getting pregnant should be easy for me.
False. Unfortunately, a healthy lifestyle doesn’t affect the health of a woman's ovaries or eggs. While maintaining a healthy lifestyle is wonderful for a healthy pregnancy, getting pregnant is a different case. Because a woman’s eggs mature at a consistent rate, no amount of exercising or dieting will change that fact.
I'm in the beginning phase of menopause so having children isn’t in my future.
False. While entering the beginning phase of menopause (also known as perimenopause), it’s entirely possible to get pregnant. Perimenopause is a time of transition when a woman's ovaries begin producing less estrogen and progesterone, both required for pregnancy. However, the levels may remain high enough for conception to take place.
In fact, you can still get pregnant until you haven’t had a cycle for one full year. When this happens, your hormone levels remain too low to conceive and you are officially menopausal.
Using a donor’s eggs means I won’t have a genetic connection to my baby.
Mostly true. Many women initially worry they won’t have a genetic connection to their baby because a donor is providing the egg’s genetics. However, recent studies have shown some genetics – microRNAs - are passed from the biological mother through the endometrial fluid surrounding a developing baby. MicroRNAs play a role in the child’s gene expression. This means there is, in fact, a genetic connection to the mother carrying a child.
Donor eggs could be the key for couples wanting a baby.
True. Once a couple receives medical advice that donor eggs are an option for them, the next step is to locate a reputable, trustworthy donor egg bank. Parents register with the bank and can start looking at the egg donors available. It's important to note that a quality donor egg bank provides counseling, answers questions, and identifies success rates directly on their website. It's also important to consider a donor egg bank offering frozen eggs, not only because of the much lower cost, but the donor egg pool is nationwide which gives parents a much larger selection to find their perfect donor.
Don't let your age determine the rest of your life.
Like the old adage suggests, "Age is just a number." This rings true for women choosing to put off having a family until later in life for any number of reasons. If you're in your 40s, or even late 30s, you could benefit from the advantages of assistive reproductive technology donor egg banks offer.
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.