Birth Rates Rise Among Women over 40

Many of us have seen the recent headlines regarding the drop in birth rates in 2008  among women in their teens, twenties, and thirties. What caught everyone’s attention was that the 40-to-44 age bracket saw a 4 percent increase in birth rate.

For those of us in the fertility world – this wasn’t a surprise at all.

My average patient is 39 years old. Most of my patients doing IVF are 39 and older. They are doing IVF because they don’t have time to wait for the economy to pick-up. They can’t wait 1 or 2 years to save more money. Women in their 20s can. I have found that young women who know that they need IVF are waiting. They are seeing me, then calculating how much money they will need to save and are planning their IVF cycles 6 months to a year in advance.

What I don’t want women out there to think is that this statistic means that you can comfortably wait until you’re 40. Not at all.  The rise in birth rate doesn’t address the fact that many women getting pregnant over 40 are using the eggs of 20 year old women.

The message I want us all to hear is that pregnancy is always easier earlier – this rise in birth rate doesn’t mean you should wait to conceive.  The rise in birth rate (my opinion) is a reflection of tough economic times and a reflection of how the use of donor eggs is becoming more common.