As I go to tours of elementary schools for my four-year-old son, I am struck by how many other mothers are well into their 40s, like me. Los Angeles is a city full of mothers of “advanced maternal age,” meaning they give birth past their late 30s, who delay having babies until they are older for many reasons, often because they are waiting for the right partner, or because they have spent their 20s and 30s pursuing careers and trying to situate themselves financially before starting a family.
Though it is not recommended that a woman wait until her later fertile years to try to conceive, in Los Angeles we are fortunate to have access to excellent reproductive science and all the advances that have been made to help women realize their dream of having children — even in their early 40s, and even if they have fertility challenges besides age. Santa Monica Fertility is one of the region’s most respected facilities for those seeking fertility assistance, and they are renowned for their success rate of more than 40 percent for women over 40 using ZIFT, Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer, a procedure in which fertilized eggs are transferred into a woman’s fallopain tubes where they can develop in a more natural environment than that of an IVF laboratory.
Many people may be familiar with the story of Cindy Margolis, the bikini model, who tried in her late 30s for two years to get pregnancy, and then she tried several cycles of traditional IVF which failed, so she underwent this procedure and got pregnant after the first attempt. Of course no fertility treatments gives guaranteed results, but for older women who have trouble getting pregnant and have unsuccessfully tried to conceive other ways, advanced treatments like ZIFT are an option to consider.