How does Women’s Age af­fect Fer­til­ity

Woman's Era - - Short Story -

Age is the most im­por­tant fac­tor af­fect­ing fer­til­ity. In hu­mans, a woman’s fer­til­ity peaks in the early and mid-20s, af­ter which it starts to de­cline. This is be­cause eggs pool of every in­di­vid­ual is de­fined since birth and with time pool starts ag­ing and ex­hausted, as we age with time and noth­ing to re­verse age.

There is a dra­matic drop af­ter 35 yrs of age with ad­vanc­ing age the ovar­ian re­serve be­gins to drop down along with the qual­ity of eggs. The ovar­ian re­serve is re­flected by the AMH value - Anti Mul­le­rian Hor­mone (blood test), and antral fol­li­cle count de­tected by ul­tra­sound.

In con­trast for men, new sperm pro­duc­tion takes place every 60 to 90 days. Lucky them!! age does not af­fect sperm much, so age is no bar for them.

The risk of ane­u­ploidy also in­creases af­ter 35 years of age. While good health im­proves the chance of get­ting preg­nant and hav­ing a healthy baby, it does not over ride the ef­fects of age on a woman’s fer­til­ity.

It is a com­mon mis­con­cep­tion that IVF treat­ment can over­come age re­lated in­fer­til­ity. A woman’s age also af­fects the chance of suc­cess with IVF. For older woman the chance of hav­ing a baby in­creases if they use eggs do­nated by a younger woman. The risk of preg­nancy com­pli­ca­tions in­creases with age too. The risk of mis­car­riage and chro­mosonal ab­nor­mal­i­ties like men­tal re­tar­da­tion, Down syn­drome and neu­ral tube de­fects in the fe­tus in­creases sig­nif­i­cantly from age 35 on­wards.

Com­pli­ca­tions such as ges­ta­tional di­a­betes, Preg­nancy in­duced hy­per­ten­sion, in­trauter­ine growth re­tar­da­tion, pre­ma­ture de­liv­ery, cae­sarean sec­tion and still birth are also more com­mon among older than younger women.

Dr Ila Gupta Di­rec­tor Fer­tic­ity Fer­til­ity Clin­ics Sr. Con­sul­tant Re­pro­duc­tive Medicine MS (Obst. & Gy­nae) Diploma IVF & Re­pro­duc­tive Medicine, (Kiel, Ger­many) Diploma En­doscopy (France) DMC No. 4491

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