Impact of Age on Female Fertility

Infertility related to age is common for everyone; Women and Men. The reduction in fertility with age is natural. Especially for women, age is a fertility determining factor. It is so because women are born with a set amount of eggs stored inside ovaries, which age with time. Roughly, 40% of female infertility rises due to aging.

Impact of Age on Female Fertility

Fertility Decline Due to Quantity and Quality of Eggs

After reaching the age of ovulation, females’ eggs start to mature inside follicles and are released during the ovulation cycle. Every month one or more eggs may mature into ovum which can be fertilized by a sperm or left unfertilized resulting in mensuration. Just like that, every month women will have fewer eggs. This will continue until menopause. As the number of eggs decreases with age, therefore, fertility also decreases with age.

Furthermore, not only the quantity but the quality of eggs also declines over time. Older women have low-quality eggs with lesser energy compared to younger women.

Women in their mid-20s have the best quality eggs among all age groups, that’s why it is considered to be the preferable childbearing age. Statistically, around 9 out of 10 women in their 20s can get pregnant per month. However, with the rise of career women, until the age of 30 most women don’t even consider pregnancy. But, after 30 the chances of conception decline rapidly from 20 to 5% up to the age of 40. This makes conception harder for women in their 30s and 40s. Only 1 out of 10 women around the age of 40 can get pregnant per month.

This Diminished ovarian reserve is a leading infertility factor in women of older age.

Fertility Decline Due to Failed Fertilization and Implantation

After the age of thirty, female eggs will not have enough energy (mitochondria) to carry out fertilization with sperm. Even in cases where eggs get fertilized, the embryo might not be able to fully develop up to the blastocyst stage resulting in failed implantation.

Moreover, the risk of chromosomal anomalies in an egg increases with age. These chromosomal anomalies will be carried by the embryo(s). These abnormal embryos often get rejected by the body due to DNA deformities.  

Reproductive and Overall Health

Over time a woman can develop reproductive disorders causing infertility namely; Endometriosis, Fibroids, PCOS, and uterine prolapse. These reproductive disorders also cause infertility in women of mature age.

Conditions like high blood pressure, thyroid, and diabetes; which develop over age, can assist in infertility in older women.

The complication of Late Pregnancy

Women above the age of 35 have a higher risk of pregnancy complications. Women’s age and health can also affect the health of the fetus. The higher risk of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, placenta previa, placental abruption, and preeclampsia are common for pregnant women over the age of 35. In addition to that, Older women have more cases of cesarean section and stillbirth than younger women.

Even without any pre-existing health issues, older women can have pregnancy complications.

Babies of late pregnancies have a higher risk of gene abnormalities, syndromes, and other health issues due to primordial development.

Does Treatment help with Increasing the Chances of Late Pregnancy?

Assisted Treatments like IVF do help in conception at an old age, but the complication factors remain. IVF does not guarantee the success of either the clinical pregnancy or the live birth. However, there is a higher probability of successful pregnancy with IVF. For women of age 35 and older the chances of conception are increased by 20-6% with the help of IVF.

The success of an IVF treatment depends on the female age, health condition, and the IVF program itself. A more experienced fertility expert can increase your chances of getting pregnant with advanced technology. Fertility specialists also guide you to lower the risk and complications of pregnancy. 

Dr Rita Bakshi

Dr. Rita Bakshi is a well renowned gynaecologsts and obstetrician with a rich experience of more than 20 years in the field of Assisted Reproductive technology (ART). Dr. Rita has extensive experience in all fields of assisted conception, with a special interest in IVF and Egg Donor Surrogacy. She’s also the founder of ADIVA group of Hospitals. During the past two decades of service, Dr. Rita Bakshi has brought happiness to thousands of couples and performed over 6000 caesarean sections, 3000 Hysterectomies, 1000 cases of IVF annually with a success rate of over 45%. She takes your dreams seriously and focuses on the long term and best interests of the child, the surrogate and the intended parent(s).