Infertility Risk Factors: Age

Infertility can be caused by various agents and age may have a decisive role. The fertility of women is more affected by age than the fertility of men. Women cannot conceive after they reach menopause, but even before menopause and after the age of 40, the chances of conceiving are reduced.

Women and Fertility Age

The ideal period for women to conceive is up till the age of 35, however, the chances of conceiving start to decrease after the age of 30. Technically, women should be able to conceive up till the age of menopause, which can vary from woman to woman. However, after the age of 35 or 40, women have very low chances of getting pregnant naturally and without artificial help.

The reason why age can influence the fertility of women is simple; there is a finite number of ovules and each women is born with these. Typically, each month, a mature woman will release an ovule, until she reaches menopause. The quality of ovules will decrease as the woman gets older, as the ovules are exposed to various damaging factors from the woman’s environment. Diet may also influence the quality of the ovules. The body selects the best ovules and these are released first, so when the woman is older, the remaining ovules may not be viable.  

Most fertility doctors won’t advise pregnancy after the age of 45 or 50, due to the fact that the remaining ovules may have DNA issues and the baby is very likely to have congenital defects.

Men and Fertility Age

The fertility period of men is longer than the fertility period of women. Men constantly produce sperm, which can be in higher amounts in the younger years, but even during old age years, sperm is still being produced.

The quality of the sperm won’t decrease with aging (unless the patient is affected by a disease that will affect the quality of the cells in the body), however, older men produce less sperm than younger men.

The sperm supply is renewed every three months. The fertility of men may be affected by other factors that may come with aging:

  • A decreased level of masculine hormones, which can affect the erection and the ejaculation
  • Erectile problems
  • Prostate issues, which can affect the sperm
  • Decreased libido, which can come with aging or may also be caused by the presence of disease

Age and Getting Fertility Help

When the woman’s age is over 35, a fertility doctor should be consulted prior to trying to conceive, just to make sure that there are good chances of getting pregnant. The quality of sperm of the partner may also be tested.

For women under 35 and over 30, the couple should try conceiving for six months and if there are no results, a fertility doctor should be visited, so that possible problems can be detected in time.

Women under the age of 30 should try for one year before visiting a fertility doctor.

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