For most women, getting pregnant after 40 is tough -- tougher than it seems from the outside. Sure, some women conceive naturally (about 10 percent at age 40, less than 1 percent at 45), but most do not [source: Neporent]. And even for women who use assisted reproductive technology (ART), the chances of conception are small when using their own eggs. One large study showed that, of women 44-and-up using IVF and their own eggs, only about 4 percent got pregnant, and 2 percent carried to term [source: Neporent].
With donor eggs, the chances are much better. Despite the social stigma that seems to be attached to the idea of donor eggs and surrogates, there's a very good chance you know someone who's used donor eggs and/or a gestational carrier. Most people simply don't talk about it.
In recent years, world-famous actresses Nicole Kidman and Sarah Jessica Parker have publicly discussed their decision to use a gestational carrier to have their children, so perhaps the tide is turning when it comes to stigma about surrogacy. So far, however, no one has come out to talk about their donor egg experience, despite the fact that in 2009 in the United States alone, around 9,500 donor egg cycles took place [source: Center for Human Reproduction].
- American Diabetes Association. "Before Pregnancy." (July 17, 2012) http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/pregnant-women/before-pregnancy.html
- American Pregnancy Association. "Pre-Conception Health for Men." Last updated March 2011. (July 11, 2012) http://www.americanpregnancy.org/gettingpregnant/menpreconception.htm
- American Pregnancy Association. "Pre-Conception Health for Women." Last updated March 2011. (July 11, 2012) http://www.americanpregnancy.org/gettingpregnant/womenpreconception.htm
- American Pregnancy Association. "Pre-Conception Nutrition." Last updated March 2011. (July 11, 2012) http://www.americanpregnancy.org/gettingpregnant/preconceptionnutrition.html
- Center for Human Reproduction. "Egg Donation Remains Controversial, Despite Increase in Demand." PRWeb. March 16, 2011. (July 18, 2012) http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/3/prweb8209693.htm
- MedicineNet. "Female Reproductive System." Last reviewed Sept. 16, 2009. (July 18, 2012) http://www.medicinenet.com/female_reproductive_system
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- Neporent, Liz. "Nicole Kidman Dishes on Fertility Woes." ABC News. Feb. 22, 2011. (July 11, 2012) http://abcnews.go.com/Health/WomensHealth/nicole-kidman-talks-openly-infertility/story?id=12968754#.UAhRuPUgyM8
- Zolnierek, Kelly B. Haskard and M. Robin DiMatteo. "Physician Communication and Patient Adherence to Treatment: A Meta-analysis." PubMed Central August 2009. (July 18, 2012) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2728700/
Is it possible for a woman to get pregnant when she's already pregnant? HowStuffWorks looks at superfetation.