Age & Female Fertility
The timeline of female fertility
As women age, they experience a consistent decline in the chance to conceive in any given month. Even if all female fertility factors are optimal, the average 25-year-old woman has at most a 25-percent chance per month of getting pregnant. By age 40, this declines to five percent. With all the advancements in treatment options, women may consider egg freezing as an option to preserve their own eggs for a later time.
This decline in fertility (and increase in miscarriages) is largely due to abnormalities in the egg cell itself. High rates of abnormal chromosome distribution are a major factor that can explain a lower rate of successful pregnancies with increasing age.
With this in mind, women over 35 who are concerned about fertility should probably seek prompt attention from a fertility specialist. Before starting an evaluation, however, it is important to discuss special considerations.
These would include general health issues, since women older than 40 are more likely to have medical problems such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, all of which may complicate a pregnancy. Accordingly, older women contemplating pregnancy should have a thorough medical evaluation, including a mammogram.
Additionally, the increased incidence of genetic abnormalities in infants born to women over age 40 and the recommendation for prenatal chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis should also be discussed with the patient prior to conception.
The importance of a fertility evaluation
Doctors often tell patients in their 20s and 30s to try to attempt conception naturally for at least a year before undergoing in-depth fertility evaluations. But for women greater than 35, this interval should be shortened to six months before it’s wise to have a basic infertility evaluation. Any further delays in seeking diagnosis and treatment can seriously impair your chances of getting pregnant. Treatment through Egg Freezing may be an option for women to preserve their own eggs for future use.
Females are born with all the egg cells they’ll ever have, and the number of eggs diminishes with time. This limitation affects her egg supply with passing time. Egg freezing may be one of the treatment options for women who want or need to delay having children.
Ovarian reserve describes a woman’s reproductive potential with respect to egg quantity and quality. At present, the best way to measure ovarian reserve is to have blood tests drawn starting on the second or third day of the patient’s menstrual cycle.
It is recommended that all infertile women over the age of 29 should have an evaluation of their ovarian reserve, our Biological Clock test. The Ovarian Assessment Report is a state of the art test that measures the levels of multiple hormones in the woman’s blood. A score is then calculated that can predict a woman’s ovarian reserve. This measurement may be very important in choosing the optimal treatment for a patient and also to offer a realistic idea of her chance for a successful pregnancy. To find out more information, click on “Check My Biological Clock”
The Clomiphene Citrate Challenge Test (CCCT) is another test that can provide more information on ovarian reserve. The CCCT involves blood tests on specific days of the menstrual cycle, along with the administration of clomiphene citrate tablets.
Additionally, other factors can negatively affect a woman’s ovarian reserve. These include smoking, shortening menstrual cycle interval, a family history of early menopause, and previous ovarian surgery.
Is egg freezing an option?
Is egg freezing the right option for you? In the shifting work and lifestyle choices of the 21st century, more women today are choosing to delay childbearing much later, often until their 40s and even beyond. Still others are opting to have second families after remarriage.
Studies have reported that almost half of women older than 40 will experience infertility. Naturally occurring fertility levels decrease with advancing age, so prompt evaluation and aggressive treatment are important considerations for these women.