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Does age factor affect women’s fertility? Know what experts say

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Lucknow: We often hear women talking about reproductive facts and if their “biological clock is ticking away”. These concepts come into prominence in today’s society as the age for marriage has significantly gone up. While settling down in life and planning out pregnancy, one should keep in mind that the conception cycle is ageist for both men and women and its understanding is pivotal because it helps in conception, baby’s health, and making informed choices during pregnancy.

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How age affects women’s fertility

“Men and women’s fertility with age has a different effect on each other’s bodies. Women are born with a finite number of eggs, and the ovaries contain all the eggs. Therefore, it signifies the women’s health pregnancy window is short as compared to men, who can even father a child at a later age,” said Dr Aswati Nair, Fertility Consultant.

Let’s learn about conception cycle age-wise:

Fertility in 20’s

This is considered to be the perfect age group for a woman to have a healthy pregnancy as at this age they are most fertile. The difference in fertility in their early 20s and late 20s are almost negligible. Some of the great advantages of pregnancy during this age group are:

-As your eggs don’t contain any genetic abnormalities, the chances of your child having Down Syndrome or any other birth defect are less

-The risk of miscarriage is lesser

-Less likely that you will have a premature baby or baby with low birth weight

-Even the mother has a lower risk of any health complications like gestational diabetes or hypertension.

The disadvantages of this phase are:

-In the first pregnancy, the risk of pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy complication, becomes higher

-If you have PCOD or uterine anomalies, achieving pregnancy could be complicated

Fertility in 30’s

During this phase of life, if a woman plans her pregnancy then her chances of conception remain 15 to 20 percent per month. But, if the woman has any underlying health condition then the chances get reduced further. The ability to conceive naturally gets declined when the woman reaches 35. This is because of the declining quantity and quality of egg in her body. The risks involve in this age group women’s are:

-More chances of c-section

-Higher risks of genetic issues in the newborn

-Women are more prone to miscarriages and stillbirths

-Increased risks of ectopic pregnancy

Fertility in 40’s and beyond

The best news is that for this age group fertility experts don’t completely rule out the chances of conceiving, however they urge the woman to take notice of the fact that during each ovulatory cycle, the pregnancy rate dips to 5 percent between 40 and 44, whereas beyond 45 it gets reduced to 1 percent.

“According to CDC, half of the women across the globe undergo fertility issues in the 40s. The risk factors of conceiving remain the same as it is in their 30s. But, one should not give up hope,” Dr Nair further added.

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