Effect of advanced age on fertility and pregnancy in women

By: Tarang Shah | Posted: 14th March 2012

Female age is perhaps the “biggest enemy” to fertility.Advanced Age plays an important role in a woman's ability to become pregnant and carry a pregnancy to term. It has become a more prevalent cause of infertility and the fertility clinic are having more and more couples with infertility problems.There is no universal definition of advanced reproductive age in women.The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) defines infertility as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected,regular intercourse.The time is shortened to six months in women over 35 because of the rapid loss of fertility that can occur in this age group.These women should see a reproductive endocrinologist,infertility specialist as soon as possible.

Infertility in womens has increased over the last several years as more and more women choose to delay childbearing.A higher percentage of women are marrying at older ages,many are delaying childbearing until their careers are established, the divorce rate is high and many couples remarry and desire their own children.It is clear that the biological clock is not in sync with these societal changes as a woman’s greatest fertility occurs in her teens and twenties. The rise in the number of women waiting until later in life to have children increases their chances of infertility and remaining childless.

Fertility clearly declines with advancing age, especially after the mid-30s, and women who conceive are at greater risk of pregnancy complications.Egg quality declines measurably in the mid to late thirties and most women will reach perimenopause by age 43.The ages vary considerably in different women and some will experience premature menopause, which can occur much earlier.However,studies have generally shown that women over 45 years of age or over 50 years of age have good pregnancy outcomes and are able to cope with the physical and emotional stresses of pregnancy and parenting.With use of assisted reproductive techniques (ART), births have been reported to several women at the age of 66 years and at 70 also.The oldest woman to achieve a naturally conceived pregnancy was 57 years old.

The major hurdles faced by the women with advanced age and infertility are covered in the following.

1] Down Syndrome babies:
The advanced age in the women increases the chances of genetic problems. This is the reason for the increased risk of Down Syndrome babies in women over age 35. At age 25, 1 in 250 women will give birth to a child with Down Syndrome. At age 30, it’s a 1 in 952 risk, and by age 35, the chance is 1 in 378.

2] Miscarriage:
As per the statistics risk for miscarriage also rises with the age. About 10% of pregnancies end in miscarriage for women in their early 20s. By the early 30s, 12% of women experience miscarriages. After age 35, 18% of pregnancies will end in miscarriage. And in the early 40s, 34% of pregnancies end in miscarriage.

3] Quality of Matured Eggs:
As women age infertility increases.Age and infertility are directly correlated and age is a common cause of infertility.Women are born with all of the eggs that are needed for a lifetime.Once menstruation begins,an egg(s) is ovulated each month until the menopause.As women age,their eggs begin to lose their ability to fertilize and develop into a healthy fetus,the condition is known as reduced ovarian reserve.After menopause,the condition is known as ovarian failure and menopause can occur at much earlier ages than predicted.Fortunately,donor egg IVF is available for women who cannot become pregnant using their own eggs due to age related infertility.Donors are healthy, screened,younger women who wish to donate their eggs to help infertile couples.In the infertility treatment called In Vitro Fertilization (IVF),success rates using donor eggs are high being equivalent to the age of the donor.For example,if the eggs from a younger women between the age of 22-25 is used in an IVF cycle with a women aging 40 years,the success rates equal the 22-25 year old age group. Donors are compensated for their time and efforts.Those who cannot conceive with donor eggs due to some problems can also opt for surrogacy option using the services of surrogate mother.

4] Pre-Existing Conditions:
Advanced maternal age is often linked to high blood pressure and diabetes that can affect pregnancy.For example,if diabetes is not controlled,it can contribute to birth defects, miscarriage,while high blood pressure can affect fetal growth by slowing it down.

Egg freezing is a process that could dramatically help many women wanting to preserve their fertility.Those who are young and do not want to have pregnancy at this age have started freezing their egg for their future.Young womens who have fertile eggs are choosing the option of egg freezing for their future motherhood.

Donor oocytes and menopausal pregnancy: Oocyte donation to women of advanced reproductive age: pregnancy results and obstetrical outcomes in patients 45 years and older

However most women in their late 30s and 40s can look forward to healthy pregnancies and prevent a high risk pregnancy.Women of all ages can improve their chances of having a healthy pregnancy when they follow simple steps.

* Have a preconception check-up with your doctor or infertility specialist.
* Relax and have a happy attitude. Emotional wellbeing can also affect your pregnancy.The mental state of the mother can affect the health of the child.
* The average time it takes a couple over 35 to conceive is 1-2 years, so try to remain positive if you do not become pregnant immediately.
* Visit your doctor at the earliest if you haven’t conceived after 6 months of purposeful intercourse.
* Begin pregnancy at a healthy weight.
* Avoid alcohol,smoking and caffeine which can negatively affect fertility.
* Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables,vitamins and drink purified water.
* Use over-the-counter tests that help screen for key elements either male or female fertility.

Pregnant women who are classified as having advanced maternal age are not sick, this is not a disease,so do not get alarmed,just do your best to have a healthy life style to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Despite these grim statistics,not everyone will have trouble getting pregnant after 35.However,if you are having trouble,and you’re older than 35,you shouldn't try on your own for longer than six months. The sooner you get help,the better your chances of treatment success.Uncover a wealth of valuable information that can significantly increase a couple's chances of pregnancy through IVF.

Uncovere a wealth of valuable information that can significantly increase a couple's chances of pregnancy through IVF.

Contact For more detailed information on Egg freezing,freezing eggs,fertility egg freezing,egg donation,oocyte,fertility egg freezing,donor eggs,oocyte donor,fertility egg donation,Infertility Clinics India,Infertility Clinic India,fertility clinics,egg donation,IVF procedure,IVF treatment,IVF process,in vitro fertilization India,Donor oocytes and menopausal pregnancy.

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Tags: last several years, biological clock, divorce rate, pregnancy complications, infertility problems, fertility clinic