Mothering Forums

Mothering Forums (
-   Infertility (
-   -   IVF for 45+ women in SF Bay Area (

LitMama 01-29-2013 11:33 AM

Hey All,


We are exploring IVF for the first time, and are finding that we may have waited too long. I'm 44 but would be 45 by the time we got to cycle, and I'm finding most doctors are only willing to discuss donor eggs with us (and we're just not there yet). Does anyone have any experience getting IVF at age 45 or over in the San Francisco Bay Area (travel is not an option for us)? 


Also, has anyone tried Mini-IVF or Natural IVF (no drugs, or fewer drugs)? I've heard that these options may remain open to women 45 and older.


It just feels so ridiculous to me that one month they'll play ball with me, and the next month they won't. We've been taking a natural path for the past 3 years, I have pretty good hormone levels, and we had a naturally conceived clinical pregnancy (alas, ectopic) one year ago. So my feeling is, I'm still in the game. Apparently that feeling is not shared by the IVF docs! I knew that going in, I understand it's about their statistics and their business models... yet I still find it shocking and appalling. 


However, I know there may be a stone as-yet-unturned, so I wanted to ask you all. Thanks in advance!


Blessings namaste.gif

guppyluv 02-03-2013 12:32 PM

Have you asked the same question on the Berkeley Parents network? I found some great info on resources on BPN, when I was starting out on my journey - mostly IUI info in my case at the time (have since moved back east and onto IVF). Worth a shot.

There's at least one older thread on trying after 40+

Good luck.

LitMama 02-04-2013 10:30 AM

Thanks, guppyluv! Great idea. I love BPN and use it all the time for other resources, recommendations, etc. I read through the threads on 40+ fertility, and unfortunately there are no recommendations for IVF clinics that are willing to work with women 45+ using their own eggs (just donor eggs). I'll keep researching this, but it's looking like we'd either need to leave town (there are clinics on the east coast and one in Nevada that don't discriminate based on age) or try something different, like IUI.


Thanks, and good luck to you as well!

guppyluv 02-04-2013 03:59 PM

Frustrating. I'd imagined CA would be so progressive, but found MA to be even more so... Which for a state with Puritan roots, seems incongruous...

Stealthee 03-05-2013 05:44 AM

Hi LitMama,


Remember me?  Have you tried UCSF? According to their website, they will do IVF for women up to 45.

Good luck!



LitMama 03-05-2013 02:06 PM

Hi Stealthee,


Yes, I do remember you! How are you and how is your son?? It's good to hear from you.


It turns out UCSF will do IVF up to 45, but not at 45 or over. They say the same thing all the other local IVF clinics say: "The chances for pregnancy using your own eggs, when over 45, are so low that we do not believe it is in your best interest to proceed with treatment, however, you may be an ideal candidate for oocyte donation."


There are clinics outside the Bay Area that leave this decision up to the woman, rather than making this decision themselves based on their desire to uphold certain statistics, but there are none in the Bay Area that do. Bummer!


But, you know, that's okay. I'm really cool with it now. We had an interesting conversation with the Zouves Center, and he basically explained, "you're already getting pregnant on your own... so IVF won't really increase your chances". He thinks our issue (early losses) is immunological. And hey, acupuncture, herbs and supplements got me knocked up at 43/44 (ectopic), why not 45?


I hope all's well with you, Stealthee... take care.

LitMama 03-05-2013 02:07 PM

Congrats, Guppyluv! joy.gif

myfairbabies 03-13-2013 02:59 PM

In case you are still looking, I saw this article on the clinic I've gone to that mentions women up to 49 using their own eggs-


There is a link to RSC that talks more about it. 

LitMama 03-13-2013 03:23 PM

Thank you so much, myfairbabies! My heart skipped a beat when I read the press release.


Alas, the bad news is in the fine print. If you go to the Age Guidelines for IVF section of their website, they make it clear that while they will do IVF for women up to age 49 using their own eggs, they will only do so if they already have frozen embryos ready to transfer. And will only create those embryos up to the 45th birthday. Bummer.


In accordance with guidelines established by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the Reproductive Science Center of the San Francisco Bay Area:

  • Accepts new patients before their 50th birthday.
  • Offers IVF for patients who want to use their own eggs up to their 45th birthday.
  • Offers IVF for patients who want to use fresh donor eggs up to their 51st birthday.
  • For patients age 49 and over who already have frozen embryos in storage, embryo transfer is recommended by age 51 but available up to their 52nd birthday.


So, we're focusing on either natural IVF (no drugs) now or just just IUI with drugs (my hospital will do this for women 45+) or just au naturale. But, dang! I was hoping to find a clinic that would do IVF for women 45+ because I love the idea of having frozen embryos for additional attempts (and maybe a sibling). If anyone miraculously hears of a local clinic that does not practice this ridiculous age-ism, please let me know!


Thanks again, myfairbabies! Blessings to you.

LitMama 03-22-2013 09:20 AM

I wanted to post this new information I just learned, in case there are other women like me out there who are watching this thread. So, I have found at least two IVF clinics that would potentially take me on to do IVF using my own eggs at the age of 45. 


First, I called one of the Kaiser Permanente clinics and just asked them. They said that based on the fact that I had a naturally conceived clinical pregnancy at 44, they would take me on at 45. That brought me hope (my Ob/Gyn also said of my natural pregnancy at 44, "this changes your prognosis" -- so, mamas out there who have had ectopics or miscarriages in your 40s -- take heart!).


Then, I contacted Marin Fertility and they said that they don't have an age cutoff per se, and evaluate each potential patient individually on a case-by-case basis. It sounds like they are basing their decisions more on test results (AMH and FSH) than on age. I have no idea what my AMH and FSH are, so I don't know if this will actually help me, but it's nice to know that they are at least open to the idea. Apparently, they recently had a program called 4 at 44, which provided women 44 and younger a package of 4 cycles. The receptionist said it was designed "for women who need closure before they move on to donor eggs". That remark really irritated me, but... whatever. You have to take these attitudes with a grain of salt.


I'm also contacting Acacio Fertility and some others (Acacio is not in the Bay Area, but in southern CA so a short flight or long drive away). I'm realizing that the clinics that don't post an age cutoff on their websites, are definitely worth contacting for more information, as they may have a more flexible policy.

LitMama 04-01-2013 12:42 PM

Update: talked to Marin Fertility -- they don't even care what my AMH and FSH are! They are willing to work with me, and the doc I talked to said that "It's an uphill battle in your 40s, but it's definitely possible". I liked that. He said if we could get even 2 fertilized eggs to the blastocyst stage, we would stand a good chance of getting a THB. So now I'm thinking I'll just spend the next few months working on improving my egg quality, and then we'll go for it. Not necessarily with Marin Fertility -- still checking out other clinics -- but somewhere.

momofamoonlover 04-25-2013 07:59 AM

Try Calidornia IVF in Davis:

LitMama 05-04-2013 04:43 PM

Thanks, Momofamoonlover! I got in touch and have a consult set up with them. Appreciate the referral. Had you just heard of them, or did you cycle with them?

momofamoonlover 05-05-2013 03:50 PM

I got pregnant with them;) My numbers indicating twins. .... have first ultrasound on 16th

LitMama 05-06-2013 09:47 PM

Wow, congrats, momofamoonlover! How exciting that you're pregnant and maybe with twins!


Would you mind my asking if you are anywhere near my age range (over 40? over 43?). It's always so encouraging to hear these stories... Age aside, this is a blessing and it's wonderful to hear your happy story! Thanks for sharing the name of your clinic with me. Blessings to you and your babe(s). joy.gif

momofamoonlover 05-07-2013 12:45 PM

I will be 46 on the 27th. I have a 3year old son. Before we got him I lost my first pregnancy at 51/2 months, twins at 9 weeks. This is our last hoorah.

LitMama 05-09-2013 06:06 PM

Thanks, momofamoonlover, your story definitely inspires me. I'm sorry to hear of your losses on this journey, but happy you're getting to have your last hoorah! Send some good vibes my way, I'm hoping to have my last hoorah this year, too. Wishing you a happy and healthy nine months! 

MomInSF 08-03-2014 11:54 AM

Thank you!
I’d like to thank everyone who participated in this thread! Even though I’m reading them much later, I appreciate the info!

LitMama 08-25-2014 04:43 PM

You're welcome! Are you getting ready to do IVF? If you're interested in hearing more details about what I learned when I researched clinics near the SF Bay Area, PM me and I'll send you the download.

I ended up doing one round with a clinic in Southern CA... very good response to their protocol and transferred two grade AA embryos, got pregnant, but miscarried. In hind sight, I probably would have gone with one of the more local clinics I found willing to work with my eggs (and we may still give it another try with a more local clinic). The travel and surrounding logistics (childcare for my DD, etc.) was the most stressful part.

Good luck!

readyGracemom 08-29-2014 12:31 PM

46yrs ivf
Thanks for all information. I'm just failed ivf at 46yrs, will be 47 soon. Still hope to try again with my own eggs. Unfortunately, I didn't find ivf center accept 46 yrs in bay area . They all recommend me donor eggs. My all blood test are normal, except seems eggs quality. I need someone help me finds somewhere accept 46yrs ivf. Is there have successful story. Thanks all in advance!

hoksiyuha 08-30-2014 06:36 PM

Hi momofamoonlover. Did you have IVF or Mini-IVF at Davis? Congratulations!

LitMama 08-31-2014 08:52 AM

Hi Readygrace,

Did you try Marin Fertility or CA IVF in Davis? Both told me they did not have an age cut-off for own eggs. If you're a Kaiser member, they do IVF I believe at their Fremont clinic and told me they did not have an age cut-off for own eggs.

All 3 of these clinics were willing to work with me at age 45. We may still go back to one of them and I am now 46 (with good AMH, borderline FSH, last clinical pregnancy 7 months ago, a missed m/c).

Have you considered IUI? Apparently similar success rates to IVF for mid-40s women, especially with a new pump device, can't recall name right now.


haralove 09-01-2014 10:08 PM


Originally Posted by LitMama (Post 17969674)
Hi Readygrace,

Did you try Marin Fertility or CA IVF in Davis? Both told me they did not have an age cut-off for own eggs. If you're a Kaiser member, they do IVF I believe at their Fremont clinic and told me they did not have an age cut-off for own eggs.

All 3 of these clinics were willing to work with me at age 45. We may still go back to one of them and I am now 46 (with good AMH, borderline FSH, last clinical pregnancy 7 months ago, a missed m/c).

Have you considered IUI? Apparently similar success rates to IVF for mid-40s women, especially with a new pump device, can't recall name right now.


Thank you LitMama for sharing all of this - I am sorry the last pregnancy wasn't a go. Its inspiring to read your perseverance. I was also told age 44 by a fertility doc at RSC that I am not an IVF candidate and I should consider egg donor. I had 2 missed miscarriages this past year and I am considering just letting go, moving on and accepting I will raise one beautiful girl who is now 5.
I am wondering what you did to enhance egg quality as that seems to be my issue. My body got preggy twice in one year but babe couldn't develop past 9 weeks. I m just not sure I have it in me to keep it all up and find ways to try. Your situation inspires me.

LitMama 09-05-2014 05:11 PM

Hi Haralove,

I'm sorry to hear about your losses. I think you and I are in the same boat! I'm also still able to get pregnant, but so far, just losses. I'm sure egg quality is an issue for me as well. And, I'm also trying to let go and just enjoy my beautiful daughter (in my case, my child is from a previous marriage and my current husband would like a biological child of his own). I'm not sure how much perseverance I actually have left!

I have no idea if it's actually helping, but here's what I'm taking for egg quality:

Ubiquinol, 400mg (equivalent to 800 or more mg of CoQ10)
NAC (N-Acetyl-L-Cystein), 600mg
PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline), 20mg
R-Lipoic Acid, 600mg
Chinese herbal formulas Rxd by my acupuncturist

There's a great new book out that is well-researched and evidence-based called "It Starts with the Egg" (Rebecca Fett) which discusses these supplements. I just started taking the R-Lipoic Acid (a kind of super-antioxidant that keeps other antioxidants circulating in your system) this week based on her recommendation. I had already been taking the other stuff.

She does not talk about NAC or PQQ, I learned about these via my own research. NAC is also a super antioxidant that helps with egg quality and immune system / inflammation issues (which I have). PQQ promotes mitochondrial biogenesis... it helps your cells actually grow new mitochondria, which could help with egg quality, as an egg cell with new mitochondria would essentially be a younger egg. LifeExtension sells a whole range of supplements for cell and mitochondrial health, one of which is recommended by REs for egg quality, called Mitochondrial Energy Optimizer, and it contains PQQ. I took it for 3 months leading up to my IVF cycle last summer, but I stopped afterwards because it's very expensive. So now I just take the PQQ on its own.

Although I'm trying to step away from TTC, I do continue taking these supplements, because I figure it's a can't hurt / might help situation, and they're good for my general health anyway.

I'm wishing you all the best for whichever path you choose!

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:16 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Resources saved on this page: MySQL 0%
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.