Many people think that infertility affects only those who start trying for children at an older age. In this part of the world, there are older aunts, uncles, or family friends who specialise in counting the days to marriage, dutifully reminding young ones to get hitched early. For men, it is a common belief that age does nothing to affect fertility and a 60-year-old man can get a woman pregnant at any time. However, the same cannot be said for women. The average unmarried African lady above the age of 25 is often at the receiving end of advice, worries, and unending prayers. They believe it is better to get married before that age to prevent challenges with getting pregnant.
Are these concerns and thoughts valid? Does fertility really decline with age? These are important questions to ask. Getting pregnant at any age is not simple for all men and women, and it is important to get acquainted with information about fertility. Read through this article to discover some essentials about age and fertility.
How does age affect fertility?
Typically, a woman’s peak reproductive age is between the late teens to the late 20s. From age 30, fertility starts to decline and this decline happens faster once a woman has reached her mid-30s. By 45, fertility has declined to the extent that natural pregnancy is rare for most women.
This happens because the number of eggs in a woman’s ovary decreases as she gets older. Also, the remaining eggs would likely turn out to have abnormal chromosomes. Hence the likelihood of ovulating more genetically abnormal eggs as one grows older.
This results in a reduction of the chance of conceiving. It is also essential to understand that in older women, as well as some younger women, eggs can be damaged or age abnormally.
Another thing to note with age and fertility is that as you grow older, there is a higher risk of having a disorder or health conditions that can affect fertility. These conditions include endometriosis and uterine fibroids.
How does age affect men’s fertility?
Contrary to popular belief, the age of a man also has a role to play in fertility and the conception of a baby. Starting from age 40 to 45 years, the quality of the male sperm declines. This means that from that age onwards, the chances of having a baby is not the same as it was before then.
Not only does the man’s age affect getting pregnant. It also prolongs the pregnancy time. That is, sperm health can affect the number of menstrual cycles it will take for a woman to get pregnant. Besides, the quality of the sperm can pose some risks on the health of the mother and child. It could cause foetal death, miscarriage, disorders after birth.
Regardless, it is important that you investigate your fertility status when you are ready to have a baby, no matter your age. This helps to determine your risk and helps find the problem.
Conclusively, although fertility starts to decline around age 32, it does not halt at age 35 or during your 30s. Another thing to note about age and fertility is that although egg reserves deplete as you age, women in their 20s and early 30s may also have a low egg supply. So it is important to speak with a doctor about your chances.