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Fertility As You Age

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A woman’s eggs are most fertile between ages 20 and 24, and her fertility decreases exponentially from this point on. By the time a woman reaches 35, her egg quality has declined greatly and the risk of miscarriage is around 25 percent.

This is because your body is undergoing a variety of changes that can affect fertility, and the effects of natural “wear-and-tear” begin to take shape. Some of the issues that arise in conception for women older than 30 are: increase of chromosomal abnormalities, infections and surgeries that have caused scarring of the cervix, decrease in amount of eggs and their quality, certain chronic health problems — like diabetes and high blood pressure, and others.

Further, the risk of genetic disorders in children increases after age 35, as well as other complications that occur more frequently are a woman ages.

Steve Martin, in an essay regarding fertility trends in women older than 30, writes: “fertility rates among women at advanced reproductive ages have been very low in the past, especially in comparison to those women’s own expectations. Such low fertility rates suggest that age imposes strong social or biological constraints on fertility after age 30. Fertility changes could mean these age constraints are changing, at least for certain groups of women.” In other words, technological advancements and other recent improvements have greatly increased opportunities for women to have children.

The number of women having children in their 30s and 40s has nearly doubled since the 1970s. Your chances of conceiving later on in life can increase if you take prenatal supplements and adopt healthy lifestyles that include exercise, a proper diet and cutting out toxins (cigarettes, alcohol and drugs). If you are still unable to conceive after six months, a fertility doctor may be able to help you determine other options to become pregnant.

For more information on how fertility is impacted by age, visit The American Pregnancy Association or Discovery Health.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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