Why do women become less fertile as they age?
Nature has many ways of keeping us safe and also tends to use its’ resources to maximum effect. In nature a young and healthy mother has a better chance of being healthy and thus keeping her babies safe and healthy. Women are born with a limited number of eggs and lose these eggs every time they menstruate.
In terms of age women below 29 are most fertile with little real change until they reach 35. After 35, fertility drops off significantly but conversely because older women produce more Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), the chances of twins or even multiple births increases.
Miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy also becomes more common in the late 30’s and actual health problems for the baby like Down’s syndrome are also more likely.
All in all, pregnancy in your late 30’s more risky than having a baby in your 20’s, but with the modern pressures brought about by careers and increasing life expectancy, pregnancy in later life is something more and more women need to consider.
Increasing your chances of pregnancy
It’s not surprising that leading a healthy lifestyle is the best way to increase your chances of a successful pregnancy.
• All women who want to become pregnant should consult with a doctor or other health professional to get a full check up and make sure there are no underlying health problems. Folic acid should be prescribed and your doctor will advise on the correct dose and times to take this
• Maintain a healthy balanced diet and remember that you whatever you put in your body also affects your baby!
• Exercise regularly and sensibly. As your body changes and develops in the later stages of pregnancy no one would recommend extreme sports but nature has made the human body so that you can continue to walk and function right up until labor. Don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to sit around and eat snacks all day!
• Smoking and drinking should not be a part of any healthy lifestyle but this is especially true in pregnancy. Look after your baby by looking after yourself!
What to do if you can’t get pregnant
If you experience problems and are worried about fertility. Both you and your husband should consult a doctor and get checked for fertility issues. Men can improve sperm count by sensible healthy life choices and there are many treatments available to help women who experience problems that are cause by age related fertility issues.
Keep trying and keep positive!