How does Women’s Age affect Fertility
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