Since I provide free second opinion on my website, I get lots of queries from patients. One of the common inquiries I get is from older women who want to know what their chances of getting pregnant are. Now, this is an easy question to ask, but as with a lot of simple questions, it can be extremely difficult to answer.
What a doctor needs to answer intelligently is the right context , and for this he needs more information. The answer to whether a particular 43-year-old can get pregnant in her bedroom or not depends on many variables, such as : how long has she been trying to have a baby ; what the results of her fertility tests are; whether she's taken treatment before; and whether her cycles are regular or not.
This is why my usual response to this question is: I need more information ! I can answer intelligently only if I have more data, for which the patient needs to do some basic fertility tests. Remember that it's never the calendar age of the woman which matters - it's the age of her ovaries. We know that as a woman gets older, her eggs start getting older, which is why her fertility drops, but there is no simple correlation between age and declining ovarian reserve , because every woman is different.
The problem is that individual women aren't interested in generalised statistics - they don't care about what happens to the other hundred 43-year-old woman who ask me the same question. They only want to know what's going to happen to them.
Our limitation is that doctors aren't fortunetellers , and we really can't predict for the individual patient what her future reproductive outcome is going to be - and this is true, whether she tries in her bedroom , or does IVF.
However, we do provide her with intelligent advice, customised to her situation, based on basic information such as what her antral follicle count and AMH levels are. With this information, we can discuss her options with her. I do not censor information and try to be frank and forthright, but lots of patients aren't very happy with my bluntness . No one wants to hear bad news, but I think it's far better to be prepared so you can intelligently choose the option which works best for you, rather than waste time pursuing futile treatment. False hope can be very cruel !
Need help in getting pregnant ? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you !