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How age affects fertility

Starting at age 34, there is a gradual decline in the ability to get pregnant.

For individuals and couples there can be many reasons why life gets in the way of starting a family. Not having a partner, career, finances, housing, travel, not feeling ready, whatever the reason, many find that it’s just not the right time to have a baby. When trying to get pregnant later in life, it can be a lot more difficult. 

Why does age affect fertility?

Fertility in women decreases with age, particularly after the age of 35 because both the number and quality of eggs gets lower. An egg is sent from your ovaries to your womb every month from when you hit puberty to the menopause. When the egg binds with sperm in the womb you get pregnant. Although it may seem like your body is making a new egg every month, this is not the case. Women are born with all the eggs they ever have and they are stored in the ovaries. As you get older your eggs get older

Your age defines how long it takes for you to get pregnant

More than 8 out of 10 of couples where the woman is under 40 will get pregnant naturally within a year of having regular unprotected sex.

There are several causes for fertility problems, but sometimes an exact cause can’t be found. This is called ‘unexplained infertility’. Unexplained infertility is rare when the woman is in her 20s but becomes the most common cause of infertility in women over 35 years of age.

If you know you have any other health concerns related to fertility, such as endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or thyroid problems you should consult a fertility expert.

Remember that age is not the only thing that may affect your fertility. Smoking, alcohol and drug use, obesity and sexually transmitted diseases can also have an impact on your ability to get pregnant.

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