Monday, April 17, 2017

Your Ship Has Yet To Sail: Postmenopausal Pregnancy

     Think it's too late to get pregnant when you are postmenopausal? Think again! The following is an informative guest post written by Heidi Hayes, CEO of Donor Egg Bank USA.

Your Ship Has Yet to Sail: Postmenopausal Pregnancy

There’s an internal struggle that many women face nowadays; we yearn to challenge ourselves and advance our careers, but we still want to raise a family some day.
Modern women know there is more to life than staying home, raising babies, and ironing shirts, but striking a balance between our professional and personal lives is quite often difficult. In some cases, a woman may find herself going through menopause before she’s even had the chance to think about getting pregnant.
However, thanks to technological breakthroughs in the egg donation process, menopause no longer has to be the end of your journey to motherhood.

The Negative Effect Age Has on a Woman’s Eggs
When it comes to your physical health, there are many things you can do to keep yourself feeling young. You eat right, exercise on a regular basis, and stay away from cigarettes and excessive drinking. But even if you do all the right things for your body, the fact of the matter is still the same; as a woman ages, the quantity and quality of her eggs will greatly diminish. By the time the average woman hits forty, her chances of conceiving naturally are only 5%.
While IVF and other infertility treatments can still be a successful alternative to natural conception, many women find that their eggs just aren’t viable for pregnancy. In this instance, many will begin to look towards donor eggs as a solution.

Deciding to Use Frozen Donor Eggs
Coming to terms with the decision to use frozen donor eggs is not always easy. Many women struggle with the realization that their child will not have any genetic connection to them.
While feelings of sadness, anger, and anxiety are not uncommon, there is one thing that may help a couple find comfort in their decision. When a woman decides to undergo a donor egg IVF cycle, she will have the opportunity to carry that child herself.
The bond formed between a mother and her child in utero is unequivocal. She will get to watch as her belly grows, hear the baby’s heartbeat alongside her own, and feel the sweet movements of her little one from inside. These experiences will not be lessened by having different DNA.

Finding the Right Donor
When you’re ready to choose your donor, frozen donor egg banks are the ideal place to start your search. 
These companies work hard to ensure their patients are getting the best quality eggs possible. Each donor is thoroughly screened before being accepted as a donor. The women who donate must undergo background checks, physical and mental health screenings, and drug tests. Their educational and professional histories are also examined and considered. You will also be able to view photos of each potential donor.
Choosing which individual to go with is a very personal decision. Each couple will have different criteria that they are looking for in a donor. How important is a physical resemblance? Do you want a donor with a similar ethnic heritage? Would you prefer someone with an interest in the theatre, or would you rather a person that loves sports?
Once you decide what is most important to you, you can easily search for a donor who shares those traits.

Beginning the IVF Cycle
Once you’ve settled on a donor, it’s time to begin the IVF process. The egg storage facility will ship your selected eggs to your personal clinic to be stored until you are ready for your transfer. Thanks to a flash freezing technique known as vitrification, your chosen eggs will still be in the same condition they were on the day of collection.
The first step is in an IVF cycle preliminary testing. This is especially important when menopause has already occurred. Through blood work, ultrasounds, and other physical tests, your fertility specialist will have a better understanding of your current reproductive health. 
After your initial tests have been completed you will begin taking medications, including progesterone and estrogen, that will thicken and prepare your endometrial lining. At this point your clinic will also thaw and fertilize your donor eggs and cultivate them to embryos.
When your body and the embryo are ready, it’s time for the embryo transfer. You will watch on an ultrasound screen as your doctor places your developing embryo into your uterus using a thin catheter. The process is relatively quick, and you will go home the same day.
Two weeks post-transfer you will return to the clinic for a blood pregnancy test and hopefully a positive result.

Menopause Doesn’t Have to Be the End
So many people think of menopause as a conclusion. The final step in a woman’s fertility, where her months of having periods are behind her. While this isn’t completely wrong, menopause does not have to be the final stop on your quest to have a baby. By using donor eggs, many men and women have seen their families grow throughout their forties and even fifties.

Science has grown right along with our changing society. The rules are different and couples find themselves with more options than ever before. Your next best step could be right around the corner.


Heidi Hayes is the CEO of Donor Egg Bank USA. She has more than 20 years of healthcare experience and has worked extensively in the field of reproductive endocrinology. Having been unsuccessful at traditional IUI and IVF treatments, Heidi personally understands the struggles of infertility. After many years of trying to conceive, she ultimately built her family through adoption and donor egg treatment. She always believed that if she didn't give up, her ultimate goal of becoming a parent would someday become a reality.


  1. Very interesting article. I guess for some women, this is a wonderful gift and and answer to a struggle with infertility. Or perhaps this is the time in life when motherhood seems desirable. I don't think I could handle the sleepless nights any more, but I wish joy for anyone beginning the journey!

  2. Interesting and viable if the woman has the strength and energy! It's not only the strength and energy for the pregnancy and the first few years - it's coping with a teenager in your 60s that would bother me most of all. :-) Have a great day! O is for Ongoing Opportunities as you Build a Better Blog. #AtoZchallenge.

  3. Our thirty-six year old son recently became engaged to a thirty-three year old woman and they plan on having kids. I hope there isn't a glitch because we'd really like grand kids.

  4. Now this was interesting, I married young and had all my children in my 20's but that isn't always the case now days

    1. Right? I had most if my kids in my 20's too, but nowadays young adults want to wait until they're older.

  5. Oh, my. And I haven't even tackled pregnancy yet.

  6. I'm so very thankful I was able to not only have children but getting pregnant, being pregnant and the deliveries were all so very easy. I was made to bear children, but stopped at three. I agree with Shirley, I would not want to raise a teenager in my 60's I love being a grandmother and fortunate that I am still viable enough to keep up with my twin 4 year old grandsons. I know this is not the case for some women and glad technology is providing a way for people to have children, even in their later years.

    1. I think it would be hard, too, but if I was never able to have kids, I would definitely try every option.



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