The prime reproductive years for women are from their late teens to late 20s. Fertility (the capacity to become pregnant) begins to drop by the age of 30. Once you're in your mid-30s, this drop speeds. By the age of 45, fertility has decreased to the point where most women find it difficult to conceive naturally. This is due to the fact that women have a predetermined amount of eggs in their ovaries at birth, and those eggs gradually decrease as they age.
How does age affect a woman's eggs?
The quantity of eggs in a woman's ovaries is fixed from birth. As women age, their egg quantity diminishes. Additionally, older women are more likely to have eggs with abnormal chromosomes. Also, uterine fibroids, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis are two conditions that might impact fertility and which are more common in older women.
Age also raises the chance of pregnancy problems. From the age of 35, there is a higher risk of miscarriage and genetic abnormalities in the foetus. Additionally, older women are more likely than younger women to experience complications such gestational diabetes, placenta previa (when the placenta covers all or part of the cervix, increasing the chance of the placenta detaching), caesarean sections, and stillbirth.
How may age-related pregnancy complications be avoided?
Try to be as healthy as you can before becoming pregnant if you plan to conceive soon. Giving up alcohol, smoking, and drug use are steps you can take to improve your health. To help avoid neural tube abnormalities, you should also begin taking folic acid.
Your ob-gyn or other healthcare provider will examine your medical and family history during a pre-pregnancy visit. To make sure you have received all the advised vaccinations, he or she will also evaluate any medications you are currently taking and your immunisation history. Your gynaecologist or other healthcare provider may also:
Inquire about your diet and way of life.
Talk about ways to maintain a healthy weight before you conceive
Advice STI screening (STIs)
Discuss if you and, if necessary, your partner should undergo carrier screening
How to preserve fertility
Frozen eggs, frozen embryos, and frozen ovarian tissue are some of the ways fertility can be preserved.
Embryos that had previously been frozen and were then implanted, much like in vitro fertilization (IVF), were used as the earliest form of fertility preservation.
Frozen embryos can be used several years down the road. An embryo can be implanted to your uterus when you're ready to try to get pregnant. Your health and the age you are when the embryos are frozen are two important criteria that will determine whether IVF will be successful for you.