80% eggs of women above 40 yrs can’t become babies - Expert
A consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, has revealed that 80 percent eggs of women above the age of 40 years cannot produce baby, just as he advocates Assisted Reproductive Technique, ART, for couples above that age range.
Ajayi, who is the Managing Director of Nordica Fertility Center, made this revelation in Abuja during a seminar organised for women 40 years and above.
The medical expert also revealed that the chances of women in their 40s to lose pregnancy to miscarriage was 34 percent
According to him, "reproduction has two processes, fertilisation and implantation. Fertilisation is what we achieve in the laboratory and that is why we called it In-vitro Fertilisation, IVF, fertilisation outside the body."
He noted that implantation failure was one of the inefficiencies of the human IVF technique, stressing that it is more likely to be found in older women.
"We have realised that women over 38 years that the covering of the eggs is thicker than what it should be. It is one of the changes that age brings about, but some other people are not that old but they have that kind of problem", he affirmed.
However, in order to offer this group of women a fair chance of having their own genetic or biological babies, he stated that the Centre acquired the first Laser Hatchingm LAH, equipment in Nigeria in 2003.
Ajayi stressed that, "with LAH, when we see that the envelope of the capsule is thick, we now create a point of weakness so that it helps the embryo to hatch. We started it in Nigeria in 2003.
"There are many other peculiarities with older patient, majority of the eggs cannot become babies, even if we laser hatch, there would still be a problem, it is like racing against time.
"After fertilisation the eggs start dividing, normally they should divide in equal parts, and that is what the body wants, that normal but as you grow older there are chances that there would be errors in this division in phases and therefore it's these errors that are called Aneuplody- chromosomal error. This leads to miscarriage, bad effects in babies, women not getting pregnant, it is peculiar when you are getting older.
"By the time you are 40 years about 80 percent of eggs that you have can't become babies, and that is why getting pregnant in your 40s is a major event. It is possible but there are things you need to be aware of and therefore you know how to prevent some of it".
He also revealed that it is possible for a woman to avoid having aneuplody; "It is also possible to freeze your eggs. Even if you are 40, some of the problems we are talking about can be avoided, because if you freeze your eggs the age of the eggs will be the age at which you froze them."