In the past ten years, more and more couples are choosing to wait until they are in their 30s and 40s to have their first baby. The problem with this is that infertility problems increase with fertility and age.
Around one-third of women who are over the age of 35 may experience some problems with getting pregnant. As you age, your odds of getting pregnant start to decline.
At the age of 40, you may only have a 5 per cent chance of conceiving. As well, the older you are, the more likely you are to experience other health problems that can interfere not only with your ability to conceive but that also affect the health of your baby and the safety of your pregnancy.
Fertility, Age and the Quality/Quantity of Eggs
As you get older, the quantity and quality of your eggs will start to deteriorate significantly from when you were younger. You’ll not only have fewer eggs, the quality of these eggs will be much lower than when you were younger.
In your late 30s, egg quality and quantity will start to decline quite rapidly, speeding up even more when you reach your 40s. As you get older your ovulation and menstrual cycle will start to change.
You’ll start to ovulate and menstruate much less regularly than when you were younger and in your reproductive prime.
This irregularity can lead to infertility problems as well as miscarriage and chromosomal problems in the embryo. Studies indicate that the risk of miscarriage increases by up to 16 per cent when you reach the age of 35 to 39.
When you’re over the age of 44 the risk of miscarriage jumps up to 60 per cent.
Fertility in Your 20s
The best years for a woman to get pregnant is in her 20s. At this time the female body is primed for reproduction. However, not every woman is ready to have a baby in her 20s.
Relationships, finances, and career choices will all be a factor in deciding when it’s the best time for you to have a baby. Biologically, the 20s are the best years to conceive and be pregnant.
Fertility specialists believe that a woman’s fertility peaks at the age of 24. When you’re born, you have all the eggs that you’re ever going to have in your lifetime.
This means that you don’t have a lot of eggs to work with before the quality of these eggs starts to decline. During your 20s your ovulation cycle is also working at its peak.
As you age, your ovaries will age along with you. Being pregnant in your 20s is also the easiest time to be pregnant.
You’ll have far fewer complications than a woman in her 30s or 40s, where there is an increased risk of diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy.
As well, women in their 20s are less likely to give birth prematurely or have babies with a low birth weight than women who are over the age of 35.
Fertility After the Age of 35
Women who delay pregnancy until after the age of 35 are at risk for many different fertility problems. Chances of conceiving naturally decline with each year after the age of 35.
Not only do older women experience ovulation and menstrual problems, they are also at risk for other health issues that can lead to infertility problems.
However, along with all this negative information about delaying pregnancy until your later years, comes the good news.
Although it’s harder for older women to conceive, once they become pregnant they have a good chance of carrying to term despite concerns about miscarriage.
Older women who are pregnant often take better care of themselves both before and during pregnancy than younger women who don’t focus as much on their health.
Eating right, taking vitamins, regular visits to their doctor, exercise, and avoiding alcohol and smoking will all add to the success rate for successful conception and pregnancy in women over the age of 35.
Don’t Let Age Stop Your Fertility
If you’ve waited until you’re in your 30s or 40s to have your first baby it’s important to remember that if you don’t get pregnant right away, don’t stop trying.
It will take you longer to conceive than a woman in her 20s. If after 9 months to a year you’re still not pregnant, then it’s time to see your doctor and find out what infertility treatment options are available to you.
Fertility options are changing every day and the success rate for women in their 40s getting pregnant are increasing all the time.
If you’ve waited this long to start your family you’re most likely prepared to do what it takes to get pregnant.
Some of the options available to you for infertility that is related to age include IVF ( in vitro fertilization), artificial insemination, and hormone therapy.