Age Criteria

Female Age

At Merrion Fertility Clinic, we have an upper age limit for female patients seeking fertility treatments such as IVF or ICSI using their own eggs. We know this may be disappointing for you. Below, we outline why we have upper limits on age in place.

Fertility starts to reduce after the age of 30, and this reduction happens faster after the age of 35. By the age of 43 or 44, most women’s eggs will be of poor quality and, while possible, it is very rare to get pregnant.

The reason for the reduced fertility is two-fold. The first reason is related to the fact that poorer quality, older eggs are less likely to lead to pregnancy. Even if they do, the chance of miscarriage is increased in older women, because things are more likely to go wrong with older eggs. The chance of genetic or chromosomal abnormalities rises significantly over the age of 40.

Age can also increase the risk of certain complications during pregnancy. This includes miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes or having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality.

Many people assume that IVF and other fertility technologies can overcome the effect of age on female fertility. Unfortunately, this is only partly true. Even with IVF, the age of the woman has a significant effect.

Data from the UK (2021, preliminary data) shows that the percentage of IVF treatments that resulted in a live birth were:

  • 33% for women under 35
  • 25% for women aged 35 to 37
  • 17% for women aged 38 to 39
  • 10% for women aged 40 to 42
  • 4% for women aged 43 and over

You may wish to contact other fertility clinics in Ireland or abroad that may have higher “cut-off” ages for female patients.

Egg Freezing

At Merrion Fertility, we have set an upper age limit for treatment using egg freezing at 40. Our decision to implement this age limit is rooted in our commitment to transparency and ethical practice. We recognise that this may bring disappointment, and for that, we extend our sincerest apologies. The chance of having a baby with your own eggs decreases with age, and over 40; the number of eggs required for a good chance of a baby would require a number of egg freezing cycles. The emotional and financial burden of multiple cycles is significant. In our experience, of women who have frozen their eggs with us, aged 40 or older, less than 15% have returned to use them. We understand we have taken a different approach to other fertility clinics, but we have carefully considered the medical evidence and feel that, for now, this is the right choice.

Partner Age

At Merrion Fertility Clinic, our upper age limit for spouses or partners is influenced by our belief that the potential child’s interests are best served by having a second parent likely to live for at least their first 18 years.

You may wish to contact other fertility clinics in Ireland or abroad that may have higher “cut-off” ages for partners.

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Price List

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