Categorized | Pregnancy Articles

Age and Fertility

Women usually get paranoid about having kids as the approach the age of 30 or more. The reason being that age plays a major factor in the woman’s fertility.  Increased infertility rates due to aging are rising in our society. Each woman is born with the amount of eggs she would require for the entire life. With age the egg quality and quantity decreases that affects the embryo quality after fertilization. 

Pregnancy Rates and Age

Studies have been conducted to see the effect of age on fertility. They confirm that age does affect the fertility of a woman. A few facts to consider are as follows – 

  • The pregnancy rate starts declining around the time of early 30s
  • Around the complete time in the late 30s and early 40s the decline of pregnancy rate is even grater
  • The number of pregnancies recorded after 45 are few
  • By the age of 30, 7% couple are infertile and by the age of 40 33% of couples are infertile 

Reasons of Fertility Loss

There are several factors that lead to the decline of fertility with age 

Egg quantity – This refers to the number of eggs a woman has. Each woman is born with around 1,000,000 eggs that can be fertilized. But only small quantities of these eggs have the quality to be fertilized. As you begin to age the amount of eggs in the ovaries decreases and by the time you start menstruating you have around 400,000 eggs available for fertilization. You produce several eggs each month for ovulation; however they die before they are fertilized. Around the time of menopause majority of the women only have a few hundred eggs left in their ovaries. Due to the decline in the number of eggs that can be fertilised, age makes it difficult to conceive.

Egg quality – Egg quality is the ability of the eggs to get fertilized. Each woman has a defined number of eggs in the ovaries that are released to be fertilized. The quality of the egg is determined by the right shape, health, and chromosomes. This helps to develop into an embryo and, eventually, a baby. They also need to combine with the sperm to be fertilized. All this is required to have a quality egg. But as you age the eggs get weaker and are less capable to form a healthy embryo. As the eggs begin to decrease in number the leave behind fewer quality eggs. 

Menstrual cycle – As you age you begin to get closer to menopause and the menstrual cycle begin to get irregular and shorter.

Lining of the womb – The lining of the womb or the endometrium may become thinner. Thus makes it weak to support a fertilised egg. 

Treatment of infertility

Women who have difficulty in conceiving due to age can approach their care provider for guidance. There are a few ways today that can help you conceive at a later stage. 

Fertility drugs – For starters the doctor will prescribe certain drugs that will help improve your fertility and chances of getting pregnant. These drugs help to increase the number of eggs released by the ovary every month. This greatly improves your chances of getting pregnant. The most commonly used medications include clomiphene and menotropins. 

In-Vitro Fertilization IV fertilization is a method in which viable eggs are retrieved from the ovaries and implanted in the uterus. Many eggs are surgically aspirated from the ovaries and fertilized with the partner’s sperms. After the fertilization takes place many embryos are implanted in the uterus. 

The chances of conceiving for a woman at the age of 30 is half than that of a woman at 20; and the chances of getting pregnant for a woman at the age of 40 is half than that of a woman at 30. This means that it may take longer than usual for you to get pregnant at a later stage in life.