How Age Affects Fertility: Getting Pregnant Over 30
1. How Does Age Affect Fertility?
Age is one of the biggest factors that affects female fertility. When a woman is born, she is born with a set number of eggs already in her body. Every month until menopause, those eggs will slowly be used up. Once a woman’s set number of eggs run out, they are gone and there is no way to get them back.
A woman’s fertility is highest in her twenties, begins to decline in her early thirties, and drops dramatically after age 35. Fertility drops dramatically once again at age 40, and by the time a woman reaches age 45, getting pregnant with her own eggs is virtually impossible. Age is definitely one of the biggest factors there is when it comes to female fertility.
2. Waiting Equals Issues
This is why we are hearing and seeing more about fertility issues recently. Women used to get married younger and start having children in their early twenties, when their fertility was at it’s peak. Now, however, women are waiting longer and longer to start their families, and by the time they are ready, they are not always as fertile as they once were.
This can be very frustrating to women who wait to get pregnant. Many women are now focusing on their education, careers, travel, etc. in their early twenties and waiting until their 30’s or 40’s to get married, get pregnant, or start a family. This waiting can sometimes result in fertility issues, so it is a very fine line to follow and a very tough decision to have to make.
3. What To Remember
Women should remember that as they get older, there is a higher risk of pregnancy complications for both mother and baby. Things like gestational hypertension, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia are more common in older mothers. Older mothers are also more likely to give birth to babies who have low birth weights, or problems like Down Syndrome.
Miscarriage and stillbirth rates are also higher for older moms, as well as c-section rates. A woman really needs to pay attention to her fertility and decide if she is serious about getting pregnant once she nears age 30 or so. Of course, every woman ages at her own pace and some women are more fertile than others.
The rule of thumb to remember is that if you are over age 35 and have been trying to conceive for more than six months with no success, you should think about seeing a fertility specialist. Likewise, if you are under age 35, and have been trying to get pregnant for over a year with no success, you should think about seeing a fertility doctor.