Age and Fertility: What to do in your 20s, 30s, and 40s
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Age is considered as one of the biggest and participating factors in the domain of fertility. According to biological research based on the age of both partners and fertility, it has been known that the likelihood of pregnancy or fertility is greatly determined by the combination of the age of both partners.
Age is a factor that is not under the control of human beings.
It is a scientific fact that the potential of producing effective and good quality sperms and eggs in the body of male and female members respectively tends to deteriorate. However, the possibility of sperm and egg production and their decline in both partners vary from person to person. So the specific number of ages cannot be formulated for the deterioration of fertility potential.
Fertility and Women Age:
Both males and females become fertile and can reproduce in their teen years following puberty. However, the procreating ability of the body is age-related. Moreover, the female body is born with a specific number of follicles, and after a certain period, the reproductive cycle does not effectively perform its function.
For women, the reproductive years start with ovulation and menstrual cycle or menstruation. And the reproductive system stops after a specific age in women, and the menstrual cycle does not continue, termed menopause. After menopause, the female body is no longer able to conceive and get pregnant.
Similarly, fertility has a strong association with age. It has been studied that the fertile years for a female body are 5 to 10 years before menopause hits the body.
With the advancement of technology and modernity, the women of this society do not want to have children in their young growing years of life. They prefer to wait and start the family in their late 30s, and thus, the ratio of age-related fertility has been increasing day by day. However, there is no exact figure from where the decline in fertility starts, but it can happen way sooner than the expectation of women.
Women who do not get pregnant naturally by the unprotected sex for more than one year opt for fertility treatments and can get pregnant. This type of conception is termed assisted pregnancy or conception. Certain types of fertility treatments are present in this era of science and technology. These include the in-vitro fertilization, preservation of eggs, also known as egg freezing, and egg donation. All these treatments demand specific criteria to be fulfilled.
Eggs and Age:
It is a fact that the female body is born with all the viable eggs she will have throughout her whole life. With the advancing age, the quality of eggs and the number of egg production starts to decrease. This is why the chance of getting pregnant and having a baby is reduced in women over the age of 35.
This information is tough to digest by the women who are not ready to become parents in their 20s or early 30s.
In addition to this, menopause occurs, and the female body cannot continue producing eggs for the rest of their lives. The number of egg-containing follicles decreases from one million at birth to only about 300 follicles during reproductive years.
However, the process of decline does not come under the term of age-related changes. Another process can happen in the female body, which results in the loss of eggs. This process is called atresia, and it is a degenerative phenomenon that can happen at any age regardless of the normal menstrual cycle. You are pregnant, under the medication used for infertility treatment, or using birth control pills (contraceptives).
Lifestyle also affects fertility. The women who are smokers experience menopause one year earlier as compared to the non-smokers.
Fertility and Men Age:
In contrast to females, in which fertility declines with age quite early in their reproductive years, the decrease of sperm count in the male body tends to occur much later in life. The quality of sperm is compromised when the men hit their 40s; however, this does not appear to be a problem until the age of 60s.
But this does not mean that the change in the reproductive functions of the male body does not seem. The fertility of males also gets affected as they grow older, although the deterioration is not as abrupt as in women.
The factors that undergo changes and become less functioning are the motility or movement of sperms and the morphology of sperms. Moreover, the testicles become smaller in size, which also harms the sperm quality and quantity.
Although the male persons who maintain good health and remain fit over the years tend to experience a lesser amount of decline comparatively, in addition to this, the decreased libido also has an association with the deterioration of fertility because the level of sex hormone of male, testosterone is reduced.
Sperms and Age:
The motility of sperms is the ability of sperms to travel towards the egg, and this motility is good in male persons of age younger than 40. Another important factor is the semen which is a fluid through which the sperm moves. The amount of semen tends to reduce as well with age.
Both these factors are an essential part of the male reproductive system and its functioning.
The men younger than 40 have better chances of fathering the child than the men older than 40.
In the 20s:
Women in their 20s are more fertile and have great chances of getting pregnant without any complications. The fertility potential decreases as the age increases. Moreover, the pregnancy risks are very low in the early 20s. For women at the age of 25, there are under 20 percent of the odds of getting pregnant.
In the 30s:
There is a gradual decline in fertility up to the age of 32. However, the rate of this decline increases at the age of 35. The number of follicles experienced an abrupt drop from 1 million at birth to 25000 at 35.
The odds of conceiving and getting pregnant are reduced to 12 percent.
Moreover, the risks of genetic disabilities or abnormalities and miscarriages, and pregnancy risks are more likely to be higher after 35.
In addition to this, both the mother and baby undergo some complications during delivery.
In the 40s:
There is a great decline in the possibility of getting pregnant at the age of 40. The percentage drops to just 5 percent after having unprotected and natural intercourse for more than three months. This means that out of 100 women, less than five can get pregnant if the age of these women is above 40.
The complications women above 40 years of age can experience premature birth, C-section delivery, stillbirth, low weight baby, and congenital disabilities.
In addition to these complications, some systemic medical conditions can hit the person, such as Hypertension(high blood pressure) and Diabetes Mellitus. These system medical illnesses can also add to the complications.
Extra monitoring and testing are required to look for viable complications.
The majority of the couples prefer to enjoy their married life and explore the new things of the world with each other without any responsibility of child and family. Therefore, they plan to start the family later in their life.
Although most couples have seen living their lives happily and enjoying family even in their later years of life, the fertility potential of both male and female partners tends to reduce with age. Thus they may experience specific difficulties, risks, and complications.
Along with some health and medical complications, some psychological aspects are also there. The mothers are more prone to anger and short temperament when they are older, and they yell more frequently than the younger mothers.
Couples who decide to delay the pregnancy are advised to go through all the aspects, including the success ratio and pregnancy risks and complications. Consult with your doctor and be aware of every single piece of information related to the fertility process. This will help the couple to make a better decision of their lives and family.