Women today are aware that they are on a clock when it comes to conceiving children. With a lot of women pursuing career ambitions, exploring the world and investing more time in themselves in general, having children has taken a back seat. It is not that women have lost interest in having a family, it has more to do with the changing culture.
As women grow older, they need to be aware of the changes their bodies go through. It is a fact that women are at the peak of their fertility in the 20s. But does fertility truly decrease as women age?
The Biological Rundown
When a girl is born, she has all the eggs she would require for the rest of her life, at birth. That’s about one to two million eggs! When she hits puberty, about 400 or so eggs are released until menopause. The rest of the eggs you ask? Well, they degenerate.
As commonly known, one egg is released every month. However, while one is chosen for fertilisation, a few degenerate and are absorbed by the body. As women age, the quality of their eggs also deteriorates. No matter how healthy you are, it is a given that the rates of fertility begin to decrease substantially after 35 years.
An egg is not always released during ovulation.
Not all eggs are of optimum quality. Therefore, an egg that is probably released during ovulation does not always have the potential to get fertilised.
During adult years, your fertility window decreases slowly. Hence, you notice a greater effect of this decline at around 35 years of age.
What If I am Above 35 Years Of Age?
Well, all is not lost as frequently mentioned. Just because the chances are reduced, doesn’t necessarily mean that you cannot get pregnant. While maintaining a good lifestyle is not directly correlated with the quality of the egg that is released, it is definitely responsible for the hormonal balance in your body.
Young women who are overweight, have a sugar imbalance or a high blood pressure are more susceptible to low fertility rates. Healthy women have been known to get pregnant and carry healthy pregnancies late into their 40s.
Another factor that plays a significant role is family history. If you notice that your mother, grandmother and the general trend of your ancestors points towards late menopause, then the chances are that you will also hit menopause later.
What Are My Options?
Plan. Plain and simple. With all the information out there and the latest scientific developments in the world of medicine, there is no need to fret and overwhelm yourself with negativity.
Decide when you wish to have children.
Talk to your partner and find out his/her wishes for the same.
Follow up with your gynaecologist often. Discuss your current reproductive status. Get prompt treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and anything that could hinder conception rates.
Talk about alternative methods like freezing your eggs, in-vitro fertilisation and artificial insemination.
It is vital for women to stay in tune with their bodies and become aware of the changes their bodies go through with time. This helps them make informed decisions when it’s time to plan their families. There is a whole ecosystem surrounding women’s health which includes their partners, doctors and counselors. Seek the required help when the time calls for it.
If you have more questions regarding this topic, ask Dr. Michelle Frank here.