Woman's Age and Fertility

Jan 17, 2009
Nowadays more women decide to start a family at older age when they feel financially secure and mature enough to take responsibility for their children. However, it might be difficult for them to get pregnant due to declining fertility. What is the best age to get pregnant and when does biological clock starts ticking?

According to different sources, woman fertility is at the highest level at age between 20 and 24 and chances remain quite high until early 30s. Fertility starts declining between ages 30 to 35 by 20 percent, while women over 35 until 39 have about 52 percent chances to conceive. For women over 40 the success of getting pregnant is around 30 to 5 percent.

Why your fertility declines with age?

Decline of ovarian reserve
A woman is born with all the eggs she will have in her lifetime. As woman ages, fewer eggs are left and they cannot be replaced. When a girl has her first menstrual period, the number of eggs reduces from millions to the hundred of thousands. Each menstrual cycle woman loses around hundreds of eggs, with only one or two eggs that become mature enough to be fertilized by sperm. The amount and quality of eggs declines with age and is influenced by environmental factors and genetics.

Changes in reproductive system
As woman ages, her menstrual cycles undergoes certain changes, becoming less regular and shorter. The endometrium, a lining of the uterus will also be thinner, which can become an obstacle to successful implantation. Also woman notices less vaginal secretions, which serves as favorable condition for sperm.

Overall health
Besides, the changes in reproductive system, women often have chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure or diabetes and this can interfere with their fertility and increase risk of complicated pregnancy. Also many women find it difficult to maintain normal weight. It is known that excessive weight can be quite an obstacle if she wants to get pregnant.

Health risks for getting pregnant for women over 35

Breast cancer risk is higher for women who had no children or got pregnant after 30 than for women who got pregnant at an early age.

Older women also have greater risk of having miscarriage. According to American pregnancy Association, the risk of miscarriage for women aged between 35 and 45 is around 30 percent, while for women over 45 this risk is about 50 percent.

So is there a right age when woman should have children? In fact, there are advantages and disadvantages of getting pregnant at younger and older ages. The decision to have children should be based on one's individual circumstances. May be you need to have financial and emotional ability to take responsibility for your children. But it may also be the case that having children will become a stimulating factor for you and your career as well as your emotional maturity.