Age and Fertility ? Men and Women

Age & Fertility

Fertility is affected by age. So how old you are will affect your chances of getting pregnant, having a healthy pregnancy and also how long it takes to get pregnant in the first place. If you are thinking of getting pregnant and are concerned that your age may make this more difficult, then speak to your doctor who can advise you on your personal circumstances and how you may be able to increase your chances. Your doctor can also give you information and advice if you are concerned about your fertility declining but have no immediate plans to start a family.

How does Age affect Fertility?Age and Fertility

The most fertile time for women in in the twenties, and yet many women are waiting until their thirties and beyond before starting a family ? education, careers and personal goals are important and now more healthy pregnancies occur after the fertile twenties than ever before. Add to this the high standard of healthcare we have available to us and the increased awareness of women’s health and fertility. Women have more options than ever before, giving them more choice and freedom over their family planning.

The vast majority of women under 35 are able to conceive naturally and go on to have healthy pregnancies. After the age of 35, the risks of complications increase so it may be more difficult to conceive and the pregnancy itself may be riskier with an increased chance of miscarriage or foetal abnormalities.

For men, fertility remains higher for longer. While male fertility does decrease with age, it happens at a much slower rate than it does for women.

How Long does it take to Conceive?

As both men and women get older, it can take longer to conceive. The guidelines on how long it is likely to take show this trend;

Of couples aged between 19-26 years old, having regular unprotected sex for a year, around 92% will conceive after one year. After two years of regular unprotected sex, this figure increases to 98%. So the vast majority of couples in this age range will conceive naturally within 2 years.

Of couples aged between 35-39 years old, having regular unprotected sex for a year, around 82% will conceive after one year. This figure again increases when trying for two years, rising to 90%.

As women get older, their risk of health conditions that affect fertility increases and problems such as endometriosis and fibroids are more common, as are problems caused by sexually transmitted diseases. Regular health checks with your doctor and getting into the habit of monitoring periods and symptoms can help you keep an eye on your own fertility health. A healthy lifestyle counts for a lot. A healthy, active woman in her thirties can be more fertile than a woman in her twenties with an unhealthy lifestyle. Women of all ages can boost their chances of conceiving by living a healthy lifestyle ? a healthy, varied diet and plenty of exercise combined with healthy lifestyle choices such as managing stress and choosing not to smoke or drink excess alcohol can make a big difference.