As early as fifty years ago, people believed women became infertile as they crossed over the magic age of thirty. Furthermore, they believed women over the age of thirty-five were considered advanced maternal age and were more likely to have children with severe deformities or mental incapacities. Even today, the medical profession considers the countless number of women pregnant at the age of thirty-five or older high risk pregnancy patients, knowing science has proven otherwise in most cases. A woman’s fertility is not necessarily determined by her age, although that plays a factor. However it is determined by other internal factors that is different with each woman, much like any other issues women face medically, mentally, and physically throughout life.
The science behind female fertility is fairly exact as far as how a woman’s system works no matter what the contributing circumstances are. The basics are as follows. A woman is born with a finite amount of eggs. Unlike men, once eggs are gone from a woman’s body, they are gone and more cannot be produced. However, that finite amount of eggs in most women is quite large. Typically, once a woman starts experiencing her monthly cycle, once every 28 to 32 days (for women that are regular) an egg is released into the fallopian tubes from the ovaries once it has matured. It sits in the tubes for 24 hours for potential fertilization from sperm. If it is fertilized, it travels to the uterus and implants in the lining. However, if it is not, it travels to the uterus and is dissolves, which allows the lining to be released as a period. Therefore, the woman is only fertile for about 24 hours, which usually occurs fourteen days into your cycle. If a woman is irregular, this process is not nearly as smooth or exact, but the same process will occur over a course of time that may vary for each cycle. Once a woman no longer has eggs to release, she begins menopause.
The theory involved in the process of fertility, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists concede that fertility decreases between ages thirty-two and thirty-seven, however, this does not mean that women over the age of thirty-seven are no longer fertile. As a matter of fact, women through their forties actively trying to get pregnant only have a slightly lower success rate than women under thirty-five. However, it should be noted that if you are over the age of thirty-seven and actively trying to conceive for a period of a year with no luck, you should consult your doctor. You may require some assistance or have other underlying issues. It is important to note that there is no scientific evidence that using birth control such as the pill or the morning after pill, has any effect on fertility, no matter the age of the woman.
There are some issues that may affect women over thirty-five if they are trying to conceive. One issue is that as you age, depending again on how many eggs your body produced and your age when you began your cycles, you body will release eggs less frequently, as there are less to be released. Therefore, trying to conceive may be a longer process. Many fertility treatments for women are designed to help with this, whether it be invitro-fertlization or other treatments. The other issue may be related to the quality of your eggs. As you age, you eggs may be more fragile and unable to support a healthy pregnancy. This is the reason for the increase of Down’s syndrome and other health issues with babies born to older women. However, there are many supplements that can be taken by women over thirty-five that will aid in strengthening the eggs.
No matter your age, pregnancy is a wonderful and uncertain, sometimes scary time. Anything can go right and anything can go wrong. No two women are the same with their fertility issues or pregnancies, and even one woman can have different fertility and pregnancy experiences with each child she conceives. The most important thing is to speak with your doctor to understand your body and do not allow anyone unfamiliar with your body and health history to discourage you at any age, especially older than thirty-five.