When it comes to fertility, time is of the essence. As you grow older, you can meet a lot of new challenges. You can run a marathon. You can run for president. You can climb a mountain. You can climb the corporate ladder. You can earn a bigger paycheck. You can earn your degree.
One thing that you might find a bit more challenging? Having a baby.
Age plays a significant factor in fertility for both men and women. For men, sperm volume and motility decrease as they age. While men may become fathers well into their senior years, the chances decline and the opportunities for risk increase.
It takes five times longer for couples to conceive if the male partner is more than 45 years old, and the risk of miscarriage is twice as high if the male partner is over the age of 45, even if the female partner is in her early 20s. The offspring of older fathers are also much more likely to be on the autism spectrum than the offspring of younger fathers.
The challenges for women are much more pronounced.
Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have, and once eggs begin to release every month, that supply steadily dwindles over time until it is completely depleted during menopause.
By a woman’s early 30s, fertility begins to decline markedly; at age 30, the chance of conceiving each month is about 20%, and by the time she reaches 40 it’s around 5%.
Not only does quantity diminish, but the quality of the eggs diminishes, too, leading to a risker pregnancy for mothers and a greater risk for her baby. For women over 40, it’s more likely that their pregnancies will end in a miscarriage than a live birth. If an older woman is able to get pregnant and maintain the pregnancy, risks like gestational diabetes and placenta previa are more prevalent, and older mothers are more likely to require delivery by cesarean section. Women over 35 are also much more likely to have a still birth than younger women, a chance that grows exponentially with more advanced age.
So, what are the options for couples where one or both partners are older? Here are a few key points to consider:
When age is a factor in fertility – particularly for women – time is of the essence. You’ll need to work with your doctor to quickly assess fertility and take action.
Options may include fertility preservation, in vitro fertilization or donor eggs.
Want to learn more? Don’t delay, contact us for a consultation now and meet with our physician Dr. Christopher Montville to learn more about your options. www.tnfertility.com/contact