Fertility In The Aging Male
Unlike the early fertility decline seen in women, a mans decrease in sperm characteristics occurs much later. Sperm quality deteriorates somewhat as men get older, but it generally does not become a problem before a man is in his 60s. Though not as abrupt or noticeable as the changes in women, changes in fertility and sexual functioning do occur in men as they grow older. Despite these changes, there is no maximum age at which a man cannot father a child, as evidenced by men in their 60s and 70s conceiving with younger partners. As men age, their testes tend to get smaller and softer, and sperm morphology and motility tend to decline. In addition, there is a slightly higher risk of gene defects in their sperm. Aging men may develop medical illnesses that adversely affect their sexual and reproductive function. Not all men experience significant changes in reproductive or sexual functioning as they age, especially men who maintain good health over the years. If a man does have problems with libido or erections, he should seek treatment through his primary care provider and/or urologist. Decreased libido may be related to low levels of testosterone.
Who Can Still Get Pregnant
The bottom line is if you havent reached menopause defined as 12 straight months without a period you can still get pregnant. Dr. Bembry acknowledges that some women develop a false sense of security when they go off birth control and go for years without becoming pregnant.
Similarly, women with a history of infertility might assume they cant get pregnant in their 40s. The same goes for women with premature ovarian failure. While these patients may look like theyre menopausal, they can still ovulate and become pregnant.
Infertility Evaluation And Advanced Maternal Age
Infertility usually is diagnosed if a woman has not become pregnant after 1 year of unprotected intercourse . However, if she is 35 or older, the evaluation should begin after 6 months of trying unsuccessfully to conceive. If a couple has an obvious medical problem affecting their ability to conceive, such as absence of periods , sexual dysfunction, a history of pelvic disease, or prior surgery, they should begin the infertility evaluation immediately. Fertility tests may include ovulation detection and evaluation of the fallopian tubes, cervix, and uterus. The male partner will have a semen analysis. Most testing can be completed within 6 months, and appropriate treatment can be started immediately after the evaluation is completed.
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Women’s Age And Pregnancy Complications
The risk of pregnancy complications increases with age too. The risk of miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus increase from age 35. Complications such as gestational diabetes, placenta previa , caesarean section and still birth are also more common among older women than younger women.
Wait Whats Perimenopause Again
You may be a little hazy on what perimenopause actually is, and thats understandable. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause. Its the time period during which a womans menstrual cycle begins to change and her ovaries begin to get smaller and produce less estrogen.
Perimenopause typically begins when a woman is in her 40s, although it is possible to start perimenopause before you turn 40. However, as the changes tend to unfold over time, some women dont even realize when theyve entered perimenopause. And the experience can vary from woman to woman anyway.
You might look for signs such as irregularity of your menstrual cycle. According to Dr. Stephanie Faubion, MD, MBA, medical director of the North American Menopause Society , your periods might get a little closer together or further apart.
Your ovarian function is not 100%, so there might be a couple of months in a row where they dont function well at all, she explains. And then they might kick back in again. The closer you get to menopause, the more extreme that gets.
Perimenopause lasts, on average about four years, says Dr. Amy Banulis, MD, an OBGYN with the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group at the Kaiser Permanente Falls Church Medical Center in Virginia. But for some women, it can last as long as 10 years.
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Distinguishing Between Pregnancy Symptoms And Menopause
A pregnancy test one done at home and then verified at your doctors office is the only surefire way to determine if youre truly pregnant.
You dont want to go by symptoms alone because the early signs of pregnancy can be similar to those of menopause. These include mood changes and fatigue which can also signal your period is coming, for that matter.
Remember that true menopause doesnt occur until youve going without your period 12 months in a row. If your periods are hit and miss, you could be in the perimenopause stage where you still have eggs left.
As a rule of thumb, if youre still menstruating, you still have eggs and can very well get pregnant.
So if youre still getting periods and trying to conceive, be sure to track your cycles and get a pregnancy test if youve missed a period. Morning sickness is another early sign of pregnancy that doesnt occur with menopause.
As your body ages, carrying another human being inside you can be a bit more challenging. You might be even more susceptible to pregnancy discomforts such as:
- swollen legs and feet
- irritability and depression
But all pregnant women have some discomfort its not a walk in the park for a 25-year-old, either. Just as every pregnancy is different, each child you have creates different symptoms.
If you had a child earlier in life , be open-minded about the pregnancy process and be prepared to experience it differently this time around.
Pregnant At : Older Pregnancy Happened To Me
This grandmother found out she’s pregnant — with twins!
I met my pediatrician husband four years ago on an Internet dating site. He liked my profile, but he said that he was really hoping to have more children. He was 50 and I was a 49-year-old mother of three grown children — not to mention that I’d already become a grandmother! I thought a new baby wasn’t likely to happen, so, longing to be just a few years younger, I wished him luck. Months later, though, he e-mailed again, imploring me to give him another chance. The issue of children, he said, we would leave to God.
We dated long-distance for six months, before we married in 2010 and I moved from New York to Michigan to be with him. Three years later, God has given us an answer: Today I am 53 years old and pregnant with twins.
A year into our marriage, I consulted with a doctor who told me it could happen, because I was “young for my age.” For my husband and me — both divorced, and with six children between us, ranging in age from 16 to 27 — the option to reinvent was intriguing. And with our collective physical, emotional and intellectual resources, we felt more competent than ever to be parents. For us, hindsight has yielded a better handle on how early childhood experiences and consistent parenting might influence development later in life. Plus, this time we’d have each other.
“Other one?” I asked, stunned.
“You didn’t know you were having twins?” she asked me.
Visit her blog at:
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What Are The Advantages Of Having A Baby Later In Life
Remember, the advantages of becoming a parent later in life do not outweigh the benefits of having a baby in your late 20s or early 30s. However, here are some positive points:
- You have more experiences about life, and are conscious of the risks and circumstances that come along.
- If it is your second child, you already have experience in bringing up a child.
- Material wealth and marital status are at a defined level.
Sometimes, you may have decided to not have children, but want to reverse your decision later in life. Letâs see its possibility in the case of a tubal litigation.
Risk Of Miscarriage After 40
About 34% of pregnancies in women who are between the ages of 40 and 44 end in miscarriage. For women over the age of 45, the rate of miscarriage is 53%. Keep in mind that while it is true that over a quarter of pregnancies in women in their early 40s end in miscarriage, the majority do not.
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Women’s Age And Fertility
A woman is born with all the eggs she is going to have in her lifetime. Her eggs age with her, decreasing in quality and quantity. Age is the single most important factor affecting a woman ‘s fertility. While good health improves the chance of getting pregnant and having a healthy baby, it doesn ‘t override the effects of age on a woman ‘s fertility.
A woman in her early to mid-20s has a 2530% chance of getting pregnant every month. Fertility generally starts to reduce when a woman is in her early 30s, and more so after the age of 35. By age 40, the chance of getting pregnant in any monthly cycle is around 5%.
The Average New Mom Is Older Than Ever
The organization has said that the likelihood of pregnancy using young donor eggs in an older mother are comparable to those of young women using their own eggs.
Still, advancing age may make gestational surrogates an attractive alternative, since older women do face increased health risks with pregnancy, including gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and premature birth. Cost can be one of the biggest barriers to gestational surrogacy, but for people for whom money is no object, it is an option.
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Causes Of Infertility And Impaired Fecundity
Women face two types of problems when trying to get pregnant: infertility and impaired fecundity. We define infertility as the difficulties in getting pregnant after a full year of trying to conceive. Impaired fecundity, on the other hand, applies to couples who have been struggling to conceive or carry a baby to term .
According to the CDC, the following are the known or potential causes of infertility and impaired fecundity:
- Maternal aging
- Health conditions that interfere with ovulation
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Environmental toxins
- Lifestyle factors
As previously mentioned, one of the known causes of having troubles with getting pregnant is natural aging. As such, it is important for women who are planning to have kids someday to know how good their chances are of conceiving. They should also seek medical advice on whether they are still able to carry a healthy baby to term.
Chances Of Getting Pregnant By Donor Egg Treatment
Donor egg treatment is the great equalizer. Treatment with donor eggs is the only fertility treatment option where the age of the female partner does not impact the outcome. The treatment is the same process as IVF except the egg used comes from a donor. Since donors are ages 21 to 32 and thoroughly screened, donor egg treatment is the most effective fertility treatment, with a 60 percent clinical pregnancy rate per embryo transfer.
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Men’s Age And Fertility
While the effects of female age on fertility have been known for a long time, more recent studies have found that the age of the male partner also affects the chance of pregnancy and pregnancy health.
Male fertility generally starts to reduce around age 40 to 45 years when sperm quality decreases. Increasing male age reduces the overall chances of pregnancy and increases time to pregnancy and the risk of miscarriage and fetal death.
Children of older fathers also have an increased risk of mental health problems . Children of fathers aged 40 or over are 5 times more likely to develop an autism spectrum disorder than children of fathers aged 30 or less. They also have a slightly increased risk of developing schizophreniaand other mental health disorders later in life.
Changes In Menstrual Cycle
Women who are pregnant or in perimenopause will see shifts in their menstrual cycle because of hormonal changes. A missed period is a tell-tale sign of pregnancy, while irregular periods may mean the onset of menopause.
Signs of irregular menstruation include changes in blood flow, light spotting, and longer or shorter periods. Its important to remember that irregular periods could indicate another condition. Speak with your doctors about any concerns.
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Your Chances Of Getting Pregnant By Age
Many indicators can be interpreted to determine your chances of getting pregnant. While some of these indicators require testing by a physician to evaluate, there is one that can be easily used to determine your chances of getting pregnant right now your age.
Age is a very important indicator used to determine a womans chances of getting pregnant. In addition, the combination of age and the length of time trying to conceive provides insight into when to seek a fertility evaluation.
Medical contribution by Pavna Brahma, M.D.
Pavna K. Brahma, M.D., FACOG, is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. She serves as SGF Atlantas IVF Director. Dr. Brahma sees patients at SGFs Buckhead Piedmont and Atlanta Northside, Georgia offices.
Can You Get Pregnant At 45
Yes, it’s possible to get pregnant at 45, though conceiving naturally is unlikely. A woman’s prime fertility time is between her late teens and her 20s, and once you reach your mid-30s, your ability to get pregnant starts to decline.
From the mid- and late-30s on, especially from age 40 and beyond, this dip in fertility tends to happen a bit more rapidly. Thats because a woman is born with a fixed number of eggs in her ovaries, and as she ages, the number of eggs starts to decrease.
Whats more, those remaining eggs are more likely to have chromosomal abnormalities, making a healthy conception trickier and the chance of a miscarriage more likely. Older women are also more likely to have gynecological issues that affect fertility .
All this means that it’s hard for many women to get pregnant naturally at 45. But it’s not impossible, especially thanks to assisted reproductive technology.
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How To Up Your Chances Of Getting Pregnant At Any Age
Regardless of your age, you can maximize your chances of conceiving each month by figuring out exactly when you ovulate.
“Ovulation generally occurs 14 days before your next period, no matter how long your cycle is,” says Dr. Bayer. For instance, if you have a 34-day cycle, you ovulate around day 20 a woman with a 26-day cycle would ovulate on day 12. Whatever your date of ovulation, plan to have intercourse in the five days prior to that day and for two days after.
“You’ll know you’re nearing ovulation when you start producing clear, slippery cervical mucus which starts one to four days before egg release,” Dr. Bayer says. Another good predictor is ovulation kit. “When it shows you’re getting ready to ovulate, have intercourse over the next two days to catch the fertile window. You have 24 to 36 hours to have sex to make it in the optimal window,” Dr. Bayer explains.
Fertility Treatments After 40
Research has shown that assisted reproductive technology is less effective after age 40, and the rate continues to fall as you get older. For example, intrauterine insemination success rates can be as low as 5% for women in their 40s.
In vitro fertilization has slightly better success rates for older peopleabout 15% per cycle. Still, this rate is not as good as it is for younger people.
Egg donation may offer the best chance for someone who wants to get pregnant after the age of 40. In this process, a person can become pregnant using a donated egg that has been inseminated with the sperm of their partner or a donor.
The success rates for IVF using a donor egg can be upwards of 35% in cases of diminished ovarian reserve . While the success rates are encouraging, using an egg donor means that the person who becomes pregnant won’t have a genetic connection to their child.
The decision to use an egg donor can be difficult to make. Some people will consider the option and decide it’s not the right choice for them.
The process can also be costly. The price tag may prevent some people from using egg donation services to become pregnant.
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It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need
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As you head toward the big change, keep in mind that diaper changes arent quite out of the picture just yet. You can still get pregnant during perimenopause defined as the years leading up to your final period.
This menopausal transition brings unpredictable ovulation cycles as estrogen and progesterone hormone levels go up and down. During these years of yo-yoing hormone levels, your ovaries continue to release eggs for fertilization. Translation: You can still become pregnant.
Premier Health Ob/Gyn physician J. Scott Bembry, MD, says hes seen a handful of patients in his own practice whove become unintentionally pregnant in their late 40s.
When Is It Too Late For Pregnancy
Menopause is defined as the stopping of the menstrual cycle . Most women reach this milestone somewhere between their late 40s and early 50s, with an average age of around 51 years old. So, its entirely possible to get pregnant the old-fashioned way into your 50s.
Easy? Not necessarily. But possible? Yes.
Before the menstrual cycle completely stops, theres a period called perimenopause when cycles become longer and less regular.
Generally, women enter perimenopause sometime in their mid 40s, but some may hit this point as early as their mid 30s. Youre still producing eggs during this time, so pregnancy is possible albeit more difficult to achieve.
Of course, youve probably heard stories of much older women carrying pregnancies to term. For example, a 74-year-old woman in India gave birth to twin girls in 2019.
Whats important to understand about stories like these is that these women often undergo hormone therapy and in vitro fertilization . Theyre the rare exception, not the norm.
The majority of women over age 45 cant conceive without the help of IVF and other ART procedures. That said, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine shares that any woman of any age can get pregnant with medical help provided that she has a normal uterus even if she no longer has ovaries or ovarian function.
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