Advances in reproductive technologies have not made a dent in pregnancy success rates for women over 42 years old. The 9% success rate is indicative that the whole reproductive tract has aged.
The growing popularity of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) has given women the impression that female fertility may be manipulated at any stage in life, notes Patrizio, who says the problem is exacerbated due to images of celebrities who seem to effortlessly give birth at advanced ages.
According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies, the number of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles performed for women under age 35 increased by about 9% between 2003 and 2009. During this same time period, the number of IVF cycles performed for women aged 41 and older increased by 41%. But this procedure doesn't always result in success.
"Even though the number of women turning to ART has increased, the number of IVF cycles resulting in pregnancy in women above age 42 mostly remained static at 9% in 2009," said Patrizio. "If pregnancy is achieved at an older age, women then face higher risk of pregnancy loss, birth defects, and other complications."
The problem is more than old eggs in ovaries. To substantially raise the pregnancy success rate for women in their 40s is going to require at least a partial rejuvenation of female reproductive organs. For example: Selectively kill of senescent cells that are impairing function of the uterus and other reproductive organs. Add in youthful stem cells that can replace lost cells in reproductive organs. The whole body might need rejuvenation in order to reduce the load of chemicals in the blood stream that suppress stem cell growth. Increased fertility for aging women looks like a really hard problem.