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Women's age and fertility

7 April 2020

If you're wondering how long it might take to get pregnant at 30, you're not alone. With many women waiting until they're over 35 to get pregnant, it's natural to start thinking about the age that fertility might decline. The graph below from the Office for National Statistics shows that fewer women are having babies in their 20's opting to wait until later in life.

Trying to conceive later in life can come with certain challenges. In this article, we review the factors that make conceiving after 35 more difficult and cover some tips for getting pregnant after 30.

Why does fertility decline with age?

Whilst it's definitely possible to have a healthy pregnancy in your late 30's and beyond, there are some factors that you might want to have on your radar.

• Age: the most common challenge in trying to conceive after 35 is the natural decline in fertility-related to age. Egg quality and quantity, as well as sperm quality, start reducing. It’s not only the woman’s age that matters but the man’s age as well.

Miscarriages: are also more common in women over 35. This is related to a higher incidence of chromosomal abnormalities. The risk is between 20-35% chance of miscarriage.

• Stillbirth: is more likely in older women.

Pregnancy and birth complications: gestational diabetes, placenta previa, preterm birth, breech positioning of the baby, caesarean delivery, haemorrhage, low or high birth weight.

 

Women over 35 are also more likely to have other co-morbidities that affect fertility:

• Scar tissue around the fallopian tubes or cervix

• Endometriosis

• Fibroids

• High blood pressure

• Diabetes

What age does fertility decline? 

Even though it might be more difficult to get pregnant when you’re over 35, it's still possible. The table below shows the likelihood of pregnancy after 1 year and 2 years for each age group. For women 35-39, there is an 82% chance of getting pregnant naturally after 1 year of trying with regular cycles, and 90% chance after 2 years of trying – which is quite good!

 

Age ()

Pregnant after 1 year

Pregnant after 2 years

19 – 26

92%

98%

27 – 287

87%

95%

30 – 34

86%

94%

35 - 39

82%

90%

 

Tips for getting pregnant at 30 and beyond

  • Track your ovulation: use myLotus to know when you are ovulating. It will give you important information about your body, how regular your cycles are and when to have intercourse. Having intercourse during your fertile window, regularly, will help you get pregnant faster.
  • Healthy lifestyle: living a healthy lifestyle, with a diet focused on organic, non-processed foods, plenty of water, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats will give your body the nutrition it needs to work at its best. Having 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day will help your body keep active and keep your BMI in the fertility zone for weight.
  • Supplements: even though women are born with a certain amount of eggs, they can still improve the quality of these eggs as they mature each month. Certain supplements can improve egg quality. Other supplements can also improve sperm motility and reduce DNA damage.
  • Ask for help: if you are over 35 and have been trying for 6 months with regular, unprotected sex, schedule an appointment with a fertility doctor. If you are 40, seek help straight away. You may need fertility testing and/or interventions to help you get pregnant.

Getting pregnant after 35 can carry some challenges and risks, but it is not impossible. In fact, more babies have been born in recent years from women over 35. Leading a healthy lifestyle and tracking your ovulation can help you get pregnant faster. However, there is a natural age-related fertility decline and if you haven’t been able to get pregnant after a while, make sure you ask for help.

 

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