In order to carry a baby, the egg released from the uterus needs to be healthy. As a woman ages, eggs are produced less and less. A woman is born with about a million eggs, but loses roughly half of them by the time she reaches puberty. As a woman passes through her most fertile age and gets to her 30s, fertility starts to drop by about 3% each year. Once the woman is 35, fertility rates drop even lower.
When is the Best Time?
Fertility experts have recommended that couples trying to conceive should wait for the fertile window. The fertility window starts a few days before ovulation, or when one's uterus releases an egg. and can last up to six days each month. Create an ovulation calendar and track your cycle to find when your body is most ready to carry a child.
What Can Happen?
Even if an older woman is able to conceive, there may be other difficulties that can occur during the pregnancy. This can include birth defects, miscarriages, or other complications such as Down's syndrome. For those at risk because of age or genetic history, it’s best to have a screening for any issues that might get passed on to their child or affect the pregnancy's success.
While age does affect the chances of pregnancy, it is not the only reason women seek infertility treatments. In fact, 6.7 million women between the ages of 20 and 24 have impaired fecundity, or impaired ability to get pregnant or carry a baby to term. If you and your partner are having difficulty conceiving, consider reaching out to a fertility expert at the local reproductive center and ask about the different infertility procedures that may be right for you.