Statistically, today there are more mothers in their late 30s and early 40s than there were decades ago. This is for a number of reasons – for instance, many women are choosing to focus on their careers before starting a family. However, higher pregnancy rates also have a connection to better assisted reproductive technology. For example, preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidies, or PGT-A, has substantially improved pregnancy success for women over the age of 35. Currently, PGT-A testing statistics show that the procedure reduces the chance of miscarriage by 30–40%. In this article, we discuss PGT-A screening in more detail and explore how it’s helping older mothers conceive.
What is Preimplantation Genetic Screening?
Preimplantation genetic screening is an optional component of the IVF process. PGT-A determines which embryos are ‘euploid’, which means they have the normal number of 46 chromosomes. In contrast, non-viable embryos are ‘aneuploid’, which means they have too many or too few chromosomes. If an embryo is aneuploid, the pregnancy is unlikely to be viable. By identifying which embryos are euploid, doctors can significantly improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy.
How is Having a Baby Later Connected to Aneuploid Embryos?
As women get older, the number of euploid eggs declines which reduced their chances of a healthy ongoing pregnancy. Throughout women’s 20s, egg quality will remain relatively stable. However, after age 34, PGT-A testing statistics have shown that at least 40% of embryos will be aneuploid, or chromosomally abnormal. By age 35-37 years, approximately 54% o embryos will be chromosomally abnormal. And by age 45, over 90% of embryos will be chromosomally abnormal.
How PGT-A Testing Statistics Show that Pregnancy Success for Older Mother is Getting Better
If you’re undergoing fertility treatment, PGT-A will help doctors to identify the best quality embryos. For older mothers, this substantially improves the chances of successful implantation. In contrast to leaving it to chance, a nicely graded euploid embryo could have a 70% chance of a positive pregnancy whether the woman is 20 or 40 years old.
Furthermore, studies have shown that PGT-Acan shorten the IVF timeline. Previously, fertility specialists would only expect 1 of 3 embryos from a 39-year-old to be genetically normal. Without PGT-A, selecting the correct embryo would have been luck of the draw. If a pregnancy results in miscarriage, it can take as long as three months for prospective mothers to be in a position to try again. However, if doctors can select a euploid embryo from the outset, it reduces the chance of miscarriage to 5%.
Now, PGT-A testing statistics show that more older mothers are having successful pregnancies. For example, a new study found that women aged 38-42 had a similar live birth rate to women 37 or younger if a euploid embryo was transferred. After a frozen euploid embryo transfer, live birth rates were very similar for both groups – 60% live birth rate for women aged 38-42 and 64% live birth rate for women under 38 years. As such, PGT-A can dramatically improve your chances of IVF success.