Fertility After 35: Should I Wait?

The Centers for Disease Control says one in five women now wait until they’re 35 or older to have their first child. There is no RIGHT time to get pregnant; everyone is different. However, since we know that age directly affects a woman’s ability to conceive, a question we often hear from patients is “what happens to fertility after 35?

Is Waiting Until I am Older Really as Bad as They Say?

For years, women reading about fertility, had been faced with the statistic of 1 in 3 women over the age of 35 will not get pregnant after actively trying for a year. This is not the most reassuring numbers when you have waited to start your family until it was the right time for you. For those women whose biological time clocks have been ‘ticking’, there’s new research to support the idea that this statistic may no longer be accurate.

Psychologist Jean Twenge, came out with research that states women in their late 30s have more time than they think. Twenge’s findings concluded that studies we have been so focused on, come from birth records from the 1700’s. While Twenge is not saying that the studies are false, she is looking to give women who choose to have babies later in life, for whatever their personal reasons may be, a little more reassurance that you do still have time.

While the statistics may not be as bad as we once thought for fertility in women over age 35, it doesn’t mean that waiting is a good idea either. The fact still remains that fertility decreases with age and therefore this should always be taken into consideration when deciding to wait or not.

Age Factor Pros and Cons

While waiting to get pregnant until after age 35 may be more common these days, it can be argued that getting pregnant in your 20s, 30s, and 40s can have many pros and cons.

In your 20s, you may be in prime health with the utmost energy to chase after a little one, however you might feel as though you miss out on your life experiences and social activities. If you choose to start your family in your 30s and 40s, your chances of becoming and staying pregnant may decrease, while your financial situation may be most established. This is why the age in which women chose to start a family varies greatly. While age is certainly a factor when it comes to your fertility, it shouldn’t be the sole determining factor when deciding on the best time to get pregnant.

The average age of patients seeking treatment options related to fertility is 34.5. While the fertility decline is subtle at the age of 35, most women will experience a significant decline by age 37. Women are born with all of the eggs they will ever have, and by the age of 37 or 38 the number of these eggs will significantly drop.

When to Seek a Fertility Doctor?

As a general rule of thumb, you should call your fertility doctor if you and your significant other are under the age of 35 and have been practicing unprotected sex for over a year or if you are concerned about fertility after 35 and have been actively trying for six months and have been unsuccessful.

Regardless of your age, if you have fertility concerns, contact Brown Fertility today to schedule your fertility evaluation.