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Pregnancy at 48–Natural or Donor Eggs?


This question is actually about my mother and not me. My mom is 48 years old. She has 2 grown up children but she wants to have another child. She knows that her chances of getting pregnant naturally are extremely remote and she knows that egg donation is her only real option. If she uses donor eggs, what are the odds of success? Also are there any medical reasons that she shouldn’t try to get pregnant? I would describe my mom as a healthy person.

Thank you! M. from the U.K.


Hello M. from the U.K.

Your Mom’s only realistic option is to use donor eggs in conjunction with IVF.  Her chances of pregnancy depend on the clinic that she goes to, but it is basically tied to the age of the eggs and not the age of the recipient uterus.  So, yes, your mother could get pregnant with donor eggs and her chances would be very good, especially if the donor is under the age of 35 years old.  In my clinic, that chances is 71% per month of trying.  My oldest donor patient so far was 55 years old and got pregnant on her first attempt using 23 year old donor eggs.

In terms of being pregnant, there are additional risks because of her age such as diabetes, pre-eclampsia, premature delivery and C-section. But these are not definitive risks but relative risks.  If your mother is healthy, she should do fine.

Good Luck,

Dr. Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG

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