Fertility depends on multiple factors and age is one of them. It is a fact that fertility subsides with increasing age and may negatively influence the odds of pregnancy. However, age is the most vital factor regarding fertility in both men and women. Experts believe that women are most fertile in their 20s and fertility gradually decreases with time. Some couple does not wish to plan their pregnancy and pushes it further. An older age often hinders a successful pregnancy in women. To deal with such issues fertility treatments are advised by the IVF specialist Dr Manish Banker and his expert team at their IVF centre in Ahmedabad, Banker IVF.
This post explores the relationship between age and fertility and paints a clear picture of it. Thus, helping you understand yet another vital factor of fertility so you may plan your pregnancy better!
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How Does Age Affect My Fertility?
Fertility reduces with age, the older the woman gets, the thinner the chances of pregnancy. Every month an egg is sent into a woman’s womb by the ovaries. This egg is fertilized by the sperm which further takes the process of pregnancy. This process of sending an egg from the ovaries to the womb starts right after a woman hits puberty and continues till menopause. It should be noted that a woman is born with a definite number of eggs which are not produced every month. So with the growing age, the quality of eggs also diminishes until they are over. Eggs are stored in the ovaries and are supplied each month till they run out.
This is surely sad news for women who are planning for their pregnancy in their 30s or 40s. The chances of pregnancy among women in their 40s are around 5% only. Women are not fertile until they reach menopause. The average age for menopause is 51, however, most women experience difficulty conceiving in their mid-40s.
Pregnancy and Birth Risk
As we age, the changes are seen in eggs and sperm. Older parents have a higher risk of damaged genetics, birth defects and abnormalities. Also, the risk of mental health issues increases compared to younger parents. The risk of having a baby with a chromosomal (or genetic) abnormality is estimated to be one in 400 for a woman in her 30s and one in 100 for a woman in her 40s. Miscarriage and pregnancy and birthing difficulties are more common in older women than in younger women. Several other pregnancy complications are mentioned below:
- Gestational diabetes
- Placental abruption
- A stillbirth
- Caesarean birth
- Placenta previa
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Eggs & Fertility
Fertility is affected by many elements which include medical, genetic and lifestyle choices. All these factors primarily affect the eggs in women. Eggs play a vital role in pregnancy as they need to be enough in number and genetically unaffected. As people approach old age their health dwindles, the same goes for egg health in women. The quality and quantity suffer along with the chances of developing genetic ailments.
Men’s Age and Fertility
Pregnancy depends on both males and females. So, both of them need to be fertile and in good health to attain a successful pregnancy. It is a common myth that only women are responsible for pregnancy and men’s age has no role in it. Recent studies reveal that the age of the male partner is also equally important to conceive naturally. It is expected that male fertility declines after the age of 40 years. Moreover, with the increasing age of the male partner, the chance of fertility reduces. The risk of abnormal birth, miscarriage and fetal death comes with decreased fertility in men. If your spouse is over 40, it may be more difficult for you to become pregnant, especially if you are also over 40. Older men may experience decreased sexual interest, poor sperm quality, and decreasing levels of sex hormones.
In men, sperm morphology (shape) and motility (movement) diminish. Furthermore, there is a slightly increased risk of gene abnormalities in their sperm. Men as they age may develop medical conditions that impair their sexual and reproductive function. Men who maintain good health do not all experience major changes in reproductive or sexual performance as they age.
Is IVF a Viable Treatment Option?
Women who are unable to conceive due to advancing age should consult a fertility expert. The good news is that several fertility treatments are available that can help you bear a child if you are naturally unable to. When traditional fertility methods fail the IVF specialist will focus on assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments. Among these advanced fertility treatments, IVF is the most popular one.
An IVF centre in Ahmedabad such as Banker IVF offers the fertility expertise of Dr Manish Banker to the patients. IVF procedure involves retrieving eggs from a woman and fertilising them in the lab with sperm. If the male partner is also in their 30s or 40s and faces fertility issues then donor sperm is the option. The fertilized eggs are placed into a woman’s uterus with the hope of a successful pregnancy. One should note that regardless of how advanced the treatment is, its result is affected by the age factor. It is always a good idea to visit the Banker IVF centre in Ahmedabad to seek professional advice!