Fertility Issues in planning a baby

Apr 26, 2011

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Man with baby The real story – fertility in women fall steadily as they age, especially after thirty-five even though they might be healthy and fit. Women today are more aware of fitness and nutrition, thus taking better care of themselves than the previous generations yet being healthy has little to do with age-related infertility which is a natural occurrence. The media and live cases around you lead you to believe in the idea that pregnancy can be delayed and can be aided with various modern infertility treatments. Although, ageing not only affects your natural ability to reproduce but also affects the chances or rate of success of infertility treatments. Age related infertility affects women early and drastically when compared to men. In women, fertility is drastically affected after the age of thirty-five.

Ageing can hamper your chances of conception

Let’s see what ageing does to the body which can hamper chances of conception

  • Quantity of eggs in your ovaries: Girls when born have more than a million eggs in their ovaries of which only a small amount remains by the time they reach puberty. By the time of menstruation about three to four lakhs eggs remain for fertilization of which several eggs are produced during ovulation every month. The quantity of eggs keep declining with age and as ovulation keeps happening.
  • Quality of eggs in your ovaries: As a woman ages, the quality of eggs slowly start deteriorating and become less likely to fertilize or form a healthy embryo. Healthy eggs mean they are of the right structure, quality and no chromosomal abnormalities. A younger woman will have healthier eggs when compared to a woman in her late thirties in most of the cases. Unhealthy eggs can cause varied complications while conceiving as it can be a cause of infertility, miscarriages or other chromosomal or genetic defects. Down syndrome which is a chromosomal disorder is more prevalent in babies born to older women. Even fertility treatments where a mother’s egg has to be used will have high failure rates if quality of eggs is poor.
  • Changes in menstrual cycle: As women age, various hormonal changes start taking place in her body which can alter the process of ovulation and even in few cases can trigger onset of early menopause. These changes can affect conception and can be a cause of infertility.
  • Changes in the reproductive system: As a woman ages she may experience thinning of endometrium or lining of the womb and reduced vaginal secretions all of which can make conception difficult.
  • Other gynecological conditions: Certain conditions may develop with age and can make conception difficult such as uterine fibroids and endometriosis where tissues start forming on the ovaries or fallopian tube which hampers conception.
  • Chronic health issues: Certain medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension occur as we age which can cause fertility disorders in women.

Ageing affects fertility especially around mid-thirties where there is an increased risk of genetic abnormalities, miscarriages and stillbirths due to factors mentioned above. If you have postponed pregnancy at a later stage of your life you need to weigh down the risks and take appropriate medical aid to make your pregnancy healthy and safe.


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