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Time to update our over 40 Birth Statistics Quote

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Monday, March 30, 2009 | 2 comments

Photo by ejaycruz
It's time to update this quote:

"In 2005, there were more than 104,000 births in the United States to women ages 40 through 44, and over 6,500 to women 45 and older. In 2004, there were 1,786 live births to women over 42, using donor eggs."

Checking the 2007 birth stats today at the CDC and I found:
All races and origins
40–44 years................. 105,071 live births
45–54 years................ 7,349 live births

Next I went to SART, who has the 2007 IVF and Donor Egg rates in the US:

Fresh Embryos From Non-Donor Oocytes
Number of cycles : (40-42) 8,865 (43-44) 5,749
Percentage of cycles resulting in live births : (40-42) 11.7 (43-44) 4.6
Total live births : (40-42) 1,037.2 (43-44) 264.5

TOTAL (40-44) : 1,301.7

Thawed Embryos From Non-Donor Oocytes
Number of transfers : (40-42) 1,043 (43-44) 652
Percentage of transfers resulting in live births : (40-42) 20.7 (43-44) 14.6
Total live births : (40-42) 215.9 ( 43-44) 95.2

TOTAL (40-44) : 311

Total number of women conceiving from IVF (non-DE) (40-44) : 1,613

Donor Oocytes (all ages)
Number of transfers : (Fresh Embryos) 9,575 (Thawed Embryos) 5,087
Percentage of transfers resulting in live births : (Fresh) 55.2 (Thawed) 31.7
Total Live Births : (Fresh) 5,285.4 (Thawed) 1612.6

TOTAL births by Donor Egg (all ages) : 6,898

Number of live-birth deliveries resulting from ART cycles started in 2006: 41,343

How old were the women who used ART in the United States in 2006?
Figure 3: The average age of women using ART services in 2006 was 36. The largest group of women using ART services were women younger than 35, representing 39% of all ART cycles carried out in 2006. Twenty-three percent of ART cycles were carried out among women aged 35–37, 19% among women aged 38–40, 10% among women aged 41–42, and 10% among women older than 42.

Number of live-birth deliveries to women using ART older than 42 in 2007: 4,134

How did the types of ART cycles used in the United States in 2006 differ among women of different ages?
Figure 4 shows that, in 2006, the type of ART cycles varied by the woman’s age. The vast majority (96%) of women younger than 35 used their own eggs, whereas only 4% used donor eggs. In contrast, 21% of women aged 41 to 42 and more than half (55%) of women older than 42 used donor eggs. Across all age groups, more ART cycles using fresh eggs or embryos were performed than cycles using frozen embryos.

Number of live-birth deliveries to women using Donor Egg older than 42 in 2004: 2,274

So the updated quote becomes:
"In 2007, there were more than 105,000 births in the United States to women ages 40 through 44, and over 7,349 to women 45 to 54. In 2007, there were 2,274 live births to women over 42, using donor eggs."


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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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  1. Jacqueline says:

    I am really enjoying your blog and just wanted to pass along two recommendations -- Pregnancy After 30 by Carol Winkelman(This book is written by an accomplished medical health writer and is almost completely focused on pregnancy after 40. Don't let the name fool you - it was obviously dreamed up by someone in marketing who thought this age could increase readership.) and on the site linked to in another post. I found this really great series of articles on fertility -- with lots of mentions of older moms, Women to Women: Fertility.

    I look forward to following your blog!

    coauthor, Big, Beautiful and Pregnant

  2. Jaqueline, glad you liked my book, The Complete Guide to Pregnancy After 30." Yes, the publisher changed the title. I had wanted something like" Pregnancy in your 30s, 40s and Beyond. The 30s seemed like a non-issue,
    You are right--the focus is "almost" completely on women over 40. The getting pregnant chapters are 90% focused on women between the ages of 38 and 54. However, I later found that American women of all ages must cope with the medicalization of birth, of becoming a "patient" when giving birth, and with the thousands of young physicians trained to Intervene rather than "work with nature.". At first I wrote the book with myths about "advanced maternal age" in mind. Later, I included young birthing mothers in my audience as i wrote the chapters on birth, since the TV shows on childbirth reinforced birth the "old way"--flat on your back waiting for the doctors to say, "Push." I wanted younger women to be equipped for childbirth with information and questions that would help them make informed decisions about interventions. Women over 35 had twice the c-section rates of younger women when when I wrote the book back around 2002. But the c-section rate was increasing instead of decreasing for women of all ages. I wanted younger women to be exposed to the empowering birth philosophy that childbirth is normal, not a pathological state.
    A note to women seeking pregnancy through assisted reproduction. Ask your doctor to inform you of possible risks associated with the new reproductive technologies--and read the medical literature if you can.

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