February 22, 2022

Fertility and female aging

In recent years there is a tendency of women in the Western countries to have fewer children and delay motherhood, due to a variety of social and economic factors.  It is well known, however, that advanced maternal age is strongly associated with decline in fertility, increased health risks, assisted reproduction failure and often poor pregnancy outcome, after natural conception or in vitro fertilization.  This is due to the fact that in women, as reproductive age advances, gradual depletion of the ovarian reserve, progressive decrease in oocyte quality and ultimately ovarian reproductive failure are observed. It is estimated that by the age of 35, a woman’s ability to conceive decreases sharply and by the age of 45 fertility has declined so much that getting pregnant naturally is unlikely. In addition, an increased risk for chromosome abnormalities in the embryo is observed.  

For this reason couples often seek medical advice and undergo a series of tests in an attempt to resolve the problem.  In the management of infertile couples, cytogenetic investigation from peripheral blood lymphocytes of both partners is routinely recommended. The most frequent chromosome abnormalities detected, in one of the partners, are reciprocal translocations, inversions or supernumerary marker chromosomes and for these cases, prenatal or preimplantation genetic diagnosis in any future pregnancy is recommended. In addition, low level  X chromosome aneuploidy in a mosaic form is a frequent finding in older women and its interpretation usually creates uncertainty when counselling couples with infertility problems, especially if this  is the only finding. In these instances, however, prenatal or preimplantation genetic testing is also suggested. 

Genesis Genoma Lab offers all relevant genetic counselling and testing for couples facing reproductive challenges. The highly  experienced scientists and clinicians  inspire the highest credibility and provide excellent quality genetic services.