Understandably, experiencing a struggle to get pregnant at an older age can be an upsetting period, but you’re not alone. In fact, the chances of a woman conceiving declines from the age of 35. When a woman turns 40, she has a 20% chance of conceiving every month. This then falls to below 5% at the age of 45.
In addition to this, the risk of miscarriage, complications in pregnancy and the dangers of carrying a child increase with age. That being said, the majority of women who give birth in their 40’s are able to carry a healthy baby full-term.
In this guide, we’ve shared exactly why infertility increases with age, along with the fertility treatments that can support you when trying to conceive later in life:
How are age and fertility related?
The chances of naturally conceiving decline with age because of the biological changes that occur within your body.
As we can see in the graph below, a woman has the best per-month chance of conceiving between the ages of 22 and 24. After this, the likelihood reduces gradually until the age of 30, where you experience a greater struggle to conceive naturally.
Based on this, the optimal female fertility age is anywhere between the ages of 22 and 30 but whilst the chances of falling pregnant do reduce as you get older, it is possible to carry a healthy child beyond this age.
However, if you are struggling to conceive, try your best to remain positive. It’s not your fault if you are experiencing troubles, as many couples do, so you shouldn’t blame yourself. In fact, it can happen because:
In order to fall pregnant, your ovary needs to release eggs. But, as you get older, your body will begin to produce fewer eggs each month. This is because your body is no longer preparing itself to carry a child.
Lower quality of eggs
The quality of a woman’s eggs is also an influence on your likelihood to conceive a child naturally. Fewer quality eggs are produced and released in each cycle, meaning that the chances of an older woman falling pregnant are lower than a woman in her mid-20s.
Image credit: iStockPhoto.com / vgajic (via Custard Online Marketing Ltd)
It’s important to remember that it is not impossible to conceive once you pass the optimal age. It may just take a longer time to fall pregnant, but you shouldn’t feel disheartened by your decreased chances.
Fertility treatments for older women
Some women struggle with naturally conceiving once they reach an older age, but there’s no need to worry. We offer a range of fertility treatments that can assist older women to have a child, giving them a great chance of becoming a mother.
Egg donation is among the most common fertility treatments for older women. This is because egg donation helps you to use eggs that have been shown to be of good quality, which means that you can experience pregnancy – even with slightly decreased natural chances.
The egg donation process is available to women including those over the age of 40 or those who have low Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH), although many more women will find they can benefit from the process.
You’ll receive eggs from a donor who is in the optimum age range to conceive, and has no genetic or fertility conditions. Giving you a high chance of success, the donated eggs will then be combined with sperm and inserted inside your womb for the baby to grow full-term.
We offer our clients the highest quality of embryos possible, through full screening and by complying with all HFEA regulations. Our calming approach to patient support helps couples through any anxiety issues they are facing due to their struggles.
As you can see, although you may struggle to conceive naturally as you get older, there are a range of options that could help you fall pregnant and experience motherhood. If you’d like more advice on the egg donation process or you’re looking into another fertility treatment, contact us for further support.