Infertility treatment can be very challenging in terms of the toll it takes on your emotions and every couple that walks into our clinic has some very common fears. Over the years, I have found that the fears of patients above 40 fall into these 3 main groups:
• Fear of Failure- The fact is that the fear of failure is one of the most prominent fears that a large number of patients harbor. I treat a number of female patients above 40 years of age, who already have one child and want to add to their families. While many are worried about whether their age will become a hurdle in the path of a successful pregnancy, others worry whether they will be able to afford the time and money required for infertility treatment
• Fear of Miscarriage- This is another major fear that women over the age of 40 have. It’s true that miscarriages are more common in older women and almost 50% of all pregnancies in women of this age will end in a miscarriage. Once again, these women fear failure, disappointment and sadness, which prevent their pregnancy attempts. It’s understandable that miscarriages are extremely difficult to go through.
Whenever a urine pregnancy test shows up positive, there is a lot of excitement that is tinged with worry too.
• Fear of an Abnormal Pregnancy- In some cases, older women fear that they will have an abnormal pregnancy. They must have either been told by some “wise” women or may have also read on the Internet that the chances of an abnormal pregnancy increase with age. The possible abnormalities that can show in the screening test are being pregnant with a child that has Down's syndrome ; or other serious chromosomal problem that is incompatible with life.
Sometimes, this fear takes another form; some women are fearful that they will have a healthy child and will find out only later that the child has schizophrenia or autism or some other disease they have heard is typically associated with children born of older mothers
List Your Fears
When I counsel women above 40 years of age who are either planning a first child or wanting to add another one to their family, I always tell them to list their fears and then discuss them with me when they come in for a consultation. I also feel that while you will have certain qualms and fears and we as doctors are more than willing to listen and help allay them, it’s also important to discuss and focus on the joy that comes from being pregnant and having a child.
Don’t Overlook the Potential of Happiness
In many instances, the potential happiness truly does outweigh the fears that you may have. Today, there is technology which can help you conquer those fears. A lot of my patients are now considering IVF with PGS (Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening). Though this process is expensive, it does offer new hope.
IVF With PGS
The only method we know of how to prevent the primary reason for miscarriage in an older woman, is to ensure that we transfer an embryo that is chromosomally normal. IVF/PGS is used to screen the embryos for all chromosomal information; couples can then choose to not transfer any of their abnormal embryos. I make it a point to share this information with my patients above 40 years of age and encourage them to give IVF with PGS a shot. For many of them, just this chance of having a healthy baby is more than the risk of a failure.
Need more information? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you better!