Age and Infertility
What are My Chances of Getting Pregnant?
According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), a healthy young woman has about a 20% chance of success each month she tries to conceive on her own.
Age and infertility go hand in hand. For both men and women, fertility chances begin to decline at around age 30-35 an drop significantly after age 40.
While it's true that men can still produce and release sperm well into old age, there is increasing evidence that sperm quality decreases a man gets older. Female fertility decreases rapidly as she approaches menopause.
Getting Pregnant in Your 20's
Women in their twenties are physically prime for fertility. The irregular periods of our teenage years have evened out. Our eggs are still very healthy and fresh. Our bones, muscles and back are strong and ready for the extra load of carrying a pregnancy. Women in their twenties experience the lowest rates of infertility, miscarriage and chromosomal defects such as spina bifida and Down Syndrome.
Getting Pregnant in Your 30's
Even though women in their thirties take 3-6 months longer to become pregnant than a woman in her twenties, an estimated one in five women waits until after age 35 to have her first child. Her body is still ready to have a child. But, her egg quality has already begun to decline. If she struggles to become pregnant and requires treatment, her egg quality may decrease even more. So, it is important to consider egg freezing if you plan to postpone having children. Age 35 marks the official start of “high-risk” pregnancies. Women in their thirties are at high risk for developing pregnancy-related issues like gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, or placenta previa.
Getting Pregnant Over 40
Though about 50% of women in their forties experience infertility, it is not at all uncommon for women to have a baby in her 40's (even 50's!). On their own, women over 40 have only about a 5% chance of successfully becoming pregnant on their own each month. But, with the help of a fertility specialist, those chances increase significantly, up to 60% or more. IVF over 40 yields the best success rates. But, the first step when determining treatment is to evaluate egg reserve and quality through simple blood work. Depending on those results, a treatment plan may include IUI, IVF, or Egg Donor IVF.
If you are under 30 and have been trying to conceive for more than 12 months, or are over 30 and have been trying for more than 6 months, you shouldn't delay. Schedule a consultation to discuss your options.