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It’s pretty common knowledge that the older a woman gets, the harder it will be to get pregnant. The biological clock is a fact of life. Women in their 20s have the highest chance of getting pregnant each month, while women in their 30s experience a gradual decline in fertility. Women in their 40s can still get pregnant, but the chances are far slimmer compared to women in their 20s and 30s.
So how exactly does it work?
Women are born with a set number of eggs that decreases over time. By the time she reaches her first menstrual cycle, there will be 300,000-500,000 remaining. With every menstrual cycle, one egg is released. Without fertilization by a sperm, the egg dies—and therefore the reserve of eggs decreases as a woman gets older.
A woman’s peak fertility is in her 20s. In fact, a 25-year-old woman will have an 87% of conceiving after 12 months of trying. In her 30s, a woman will still have a 20% chance of getting pregnant with every menstrual cycle.
After the age of 35, a woman’s fertility decreases rapidly. There will also be more risk to getting pregnant. Additionally, after 35, it can take longer to get pregnant because the quantity and quality of your eggs decline. There is a higher risk of multiple pregnancies due to hormonal changes that may lead to the release of multiple eggs. There’s also a higher risk of miscarriage and stillborn babies.
For women who are hoping to get pregnant, egg quality is especially important consider. While even women in their peak fertility years may have some genetically abnormal eggs, the proportion of genetically abnormal eggs increases with age. Genetically abnormal eggs will likely fail to fertilize or implant and can lead to miscarriage. By age 40, it’s likely that a woman will have more genetically abnormal eggs than normal eggs.
After the age of 40, the chances of getting pregnant with each menstrual cycle decreases to 5%. Very few women give birth in their 50s, though it is still possible for some.
Assisted fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization can help women at any age before menopause have healthy babies. If you’ve had trouble conceiving and you’re ready to take your fertility journey to the next level, please call us at 205-307-0484 to schedule an in-depth phone consultation with our team of fertility specialists today.