For many women, finding the right partner or working towards their goals, all while meeting the demands of modern society, can make timing and planning for parenthood extremely difficult. Now let’s add another layer of complexity – ”the biological clock”. Women are born with a fixed number of eggs, and as they age, the quantity and quality of these eggs decline, meaning their chances of becoming pregnant decrease. If you are looking to become pregnant, this information is not meant to scare or apply unnecessary pressure, but rather empower you to make informed decisions regarding your reproductive path.
Female Age and Fertility
Typically, women are most fertile in their twenties, with a 25-30% chance of pregnancy every month. As women approach 30, this probability reduces to 20% per cycle, and as they reach 35, the decline becomes more pronounced, diminishing to 5% by age 40.
As we age, not only are we increasingly exposed to toxins and illness, but we also experience the weakening of various biological processes, all of which not only cause damage to our DNA, including the DNA contained in our eggs. Eggs with abnormal DNA often result in miscarriage, birth defects, or no conception at all. Additionally, the number of eggs a woman carries begins to diminish from birth, reducing more significantly after puberty, further lowering a woman’s chances of pregnancy.
Furthermore, if pregnancy does occur in later reproductive years, there is an increased risk of pregnancy complications, such as:
All bodies are different, and therefore not all “later” pregnancies are the same. If you are thinking about becoming pregnant, speak to your provider about your plans, and determine whether fertility testing and/or any precautions are necessary for you. Seeking healthcare that is specific to your needs is often a significant first step towards achieving your reproductive goals.
Female Health & Fertility Options
While the effects of age on fertility and pregnancy may seem overwhelming, women are not completely powerless. Eating a healthy diet, and maintaining regular exercise has proven to increase chances of a successful pregnancy. If you are considering pregnancy, make sure to talk to your doctor about your lifestyle, and how you can make important changes if needed.
Additionally, keeping a healthy lifestyle can increase the chances of pregnancies even more so for those using reproductive technologies. Women struggling with infertility have increasingly been turning to an array of fertility options such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg donation, surrogacy, or even a combination of these methods. With the help of fertility care, the likelihood of a successful pregnancy significantly increases, reaching as high as 17% for women over the age of 35.
There are also reproductive options for those who want to become pregnant but are not ready to start a family yet, such as egg freezing. This process allows younger women to preserve their healthy eggs in an effort to limit the struggles they may face when conceiving at a later, more opportune time.
Empowerment Through Knowledge
If you are having difficulties becoming pregnant, or are planning to conceive on a timeline that is best for you, reproductive assistance may be a path to consider. By acknowledging the impact of age on fertility and seeking appropriate care, women can embark on their reproductive journeys with awareness, preparedness, and confidence. For a deeper understanding of your options, reach out to PGOMG today.