Barbadian Clinic’s experts warn – How age impacts one’s fertility
Women are born with an infinite amount of eggs and from puberty these are eggs are released during your monthly cycle, which is referred to as ovulation. If the egg is not fertilised, the lining of the womb will break down and this is passed as a period.
Some women may not ovulate every month, and this makes trying to get pregnant challenging. Many medical conditions can cause irregular periods, and if no egg has been released then the lining of the womb doesn’t thicken and therefore no period occurs.
Once a woman reaches the age of 35, there is a marked decline in ovulation, and this decline can be as much as 50%, meaning you may only release an egg every other month instead of monthly. This is because you only have a certain number of eggs left.
Many women now are leaving starting a family until later on in life, while they concentrate on their careers, finding the right man and setting up home, however this trend to start families in their late 30’s can mean somebody who didn’t have a medical condition preventing a pregnancy is now challenged to have a family simply because they left it too late.
If a couple have tried to conceive for more than 12 months with no pregnancy occurring, it is imperative to seek medical intervention as soon as possible, especially if maternal age is over 35.
For women in their late 30’s or early 40’s, they may need assisted reproduction. Success rates for IVF are highest for women under 38 and at their lowest for women over 42 – this is because there are more eggs in younger women and therefore these embryo’s when fertilized have a better chance of survival. Sadly, some women delay having IVF and then are shocked to learn there is a limited supply of eggs to choose from and may have to look to use a donor egg.
Many patients at BFC, who are over 35 urge other women to focus on having a family before the biological clock stops ticking, and want us to empower women to take charge of their treatment before maternal age prevents them from having a family. If you are having trouble conceiving then please consult your Dr or the medical team at BFC.