Making An Informed Decision: When To See A Fertility Specialist
When thinking about your fertility options, your age can empower you to take proactive steps in your family building. Women under the age of 35 who have been trying for a year , should talk with a reproductive endocrinologist.
Shady Grove Fertilitys team of highly renowned reproductive endocrinologists are available for consultations to review medical history and advise if you need a fertility evaluation. Talking with a fertility specialist can provide you with the answers you need and help you understand why getting pregnant is taking longer than expected.
Consider A Fertility Treatment Such As In Vitro Fertilization
How do you know when to get fertility help? Since every year that passes, your chances of conceiving a baby is a 40-year-old woman get lower and lower. Thus, its important for you to seek help from a gynecologist or fertility doctor as soon as possible if youre trying to conceive. If you have been trying to have a baby for six months and youre still not pregnant, you should get your 40-year-old bottom to the fertility doctor as soon as possible.
Fertility treatments are less effective for women after 40. For example intrauterine insemination treatments are as low as 5% for women in their 40s. In vitro fertilization or IVF success rates can be as high as 15% per cycle. Unfortunately, this rate falls quickly as each month and year goes by. Different fertility clinics have different success rates of fertility treatment such as in vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination. Different fertility clinics also have different ways to measure and calculate their success rates.
Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant After 40
What made you decide to try in vitro fertilization at age 51? After changing my life around so that I wasnt so focused on my career, I met a wonderful man when I was 46 and at age 47 it was very serious. Thats when we started speaking with fertility doctors to see what our baby choices were. They told me choices were 1) still use my eggs or 2) consider donor eggs. So, we tried in vitro fertilization.
Dont Assume You Know When You Ovulate
Youve probably heard that ovulation occurs in the middle of a womans cycletypically fourteen days before the onset of her next menses, or Day 14 of a 28-day cycle.6
While this may be true for some women, it is not the case for every woman, or even every cycle. That is, the timing of a womans fertile window can vary greatly, even among women with regular 28-day cycles. In fact, a prospective study found that less than 30% of women experienced a fertile window between days 10 and 17, as suggested by clinical guidelines.7
This means that if women trying to get pregnant time their intercourse around the assumption that they ovulate 14 days after their period, a lot of these women are not utilizing their fertile window as effectively as possible. And given that a womans cycle tends to become more irregular with increasing age, predicting the fertile window can become especially difficult for women over 35.6
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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.
Nausea Can Be More Intense
According to Expecting Science, about 70 to 80 percent of women experience some form of nausea during pregnancy. It is one of the most annoying pregnancy symptoms there is, but there is an upside to this. Nausea usually indicates a healthy pregnancy. While there are some women who do not experience morning sickness at all and still have healthy babies, generally most women who have healthy babies will experience morning sickness.
However, there is a big difference between nausea and some light vomiting and having severe nausea. Because women over 35 are more prone to complications during pregnancy, if they are experiencing symptoms of severe nausea, it probably warrants a trip to the doctor. It might not be anything major outside of severe morning sickness, but if nausea and vomiting are accompanied with other symptoms, it could mean something has gone wrong with the pregnancy. The best way to determine the cause is to see a doctor as soon as possible.
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If You Have Further Questions Contact Your Ob
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Copyright 2021 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All rights reserved. Read copyright and permissions information.
This information is designed as an educational aid for the public. It offers current information and opinions related to women’s health. It is not intended as a statement of the standard of care. It does not explain all of the proper treatments or methods of care. It is not a substitute for the advice of a physician. Read ACOGs complete disclaimer.
Review Your Prescription Medications
Lets face it, women over 40 have a higher chance of taking prescription medications and having health issues than women who are younger than 40. If you are taking medications that could affect your chances of conceiving a baby and having a healthy pregnancy, make sure you talk to your doctor about your different options before proceeding. You may have to make difficult decisions about your health and your babys safety when youre trying to improve your chances of pregnancy over 40.
What advice would you give women coping with infertility? Stay positive, give it time, keep an open mind and consider all options for infertile couples. Again stay positive and optimistic! Consider whats best for you and dont listen to what your family and good friends are saying. Initially, my own mother was really against in vitro fertilization and wouldnt even discuss it with me. I figured in due time she would come around when she was ready. And she is.
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Strive For A Healthy Body Weight
A woman’s weight can also impact the chances of conceiving: Being overweight or underweight may reduce those odds. Research has shown that a woman who is overweight can take twice as long to become pregnant as a woman whose body-mass index is considered normal weight, Pavone said. A woman who is underweight might take four times as long to conceive, she said.
Having too much body fat produces excess estrogen, which can interfere with ovulation, according to the Cleveland Clinic. A 2017 study suggested that couples in the study in which both partners were very obese, with BMIs of at least 35, took from 55% to 59% longer to become pregnant, compared with couples who were not obese, the researchers reported in the journal Human Reproduction.
In a study published in 2020 in the journal PLOS One, researchers looked at data from more than 50,000 couples in China trying to conceive over the course of a year they found that women’s ability to conceive within a given timeframe decreased as their BMI increased.
Male obesity, which can disrupt the male endocrine system as well as sperm viability and concentration, can also affect a couple’s ability to become pregnant, scientists reported in 2020 in the journal Andrologia.
Women who are underweight, with a BMI less than 18, might not be getting regular periods or could stop ovulating, which also hinders their ability to become pregnant, according to the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority.
Pregnancy Over 35 Is Actually Quite Common
I had my first child at 33, my second at 36, and recently delivered my third at age 39. When I got pregnant at 32, I was one of the first of my friends to have kids. The rest joined the club after age 35, echoing a national trend of waiting longer to start having children.
People might want to get their career going and wait a little while, or wait until they meet the right person, Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale Medical School, tells SELF. Whatever the reason may be, times are changing when it comes to how long people are holding off before having children.
The average age at first childbirth rose to 26.9 years old in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , a marked increase from 24.9 years old in 2000. For contexts sake, in 1970, people first gave birth when they were 21.4 years old on average, so theres a clear upward trend happening here.
Experts are seeing national shifts when it comes to having children at age 35 and over, too. From 2000 to 2014, the number of women 35 and over giving birth for the first time climbed from 7.4 percent to 9.1 percent, the CDC notes. Since then, it has generally continued to rise. In 2010, 45.9 out of every 1,000 women aged 35 to 39 gave birth, and in 2018, that number was up to 52.6 out of every 1,000 women aged 35 to 39, according to the CDC.
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Weeks Pregnant Lifestyle And Diet
- Eat smaller meals: in addition to maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy, eating smaller meals can help you with other pregnancy symptoms, like bloating.
- Get all the rest you can: sleep on your side or reclining, and try to catch as many hours of sleep as possible. Keep your strength for the coming days!
- Choose the right pregnancy bra for you: your breasts could start to leak around this time, and you’ll need a comfortable bra that fits just right for the remainder of your pregnancy and postpartum.
Is Any Pregnancy After Age 35 Automatically A High
Many doctors are quick to discount the belief that age 35 always and instantly draws a line between a healthy pregnancy and a high-risk one.
Weve learned that theres nothing magic about age 35, Sarah J. Kilpatrick, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Cedars-Sinai, tells SELF. I would never tell someone that just because shes 35 she has to see a high-risk doctoronly if theres something in her history or something that happened during her pregnancy that warrants it.
According to Dr. Kilpatrick, the idea that being pregnant at 35 qualifies as a geriatric pregnancy seems to stem from outdated statistics about how getting pregnant at 35 or older raised the risk of various pregnancy complications. The truth about how the odds of these complications change with age is much more nuanced than that.
Some doctors even downplay this type of phrase to their patients. I hate using the term advanced maternal age, Dr. Minkin says, explaining that this kind of language can make people feel like theyre too old to be pregnant or they need to worry a ton about how age is affecting their pregnancy even if theyre completely healthy.
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What Your Odds Of Conception Are And What To Do If You Can’t Conceive
Leyla Bilali, RN is a registered nurse, fertility nurse, and fertility consultant in the New York City area.
However, if you want to understand why getting pregnant after 35 is more difficult, learn about the various pregnancy risks after 35, and find out what your real odds are for pregnancy successkeep reading!
Chances Of Getting Pregnant With Intrauterine Insemination
For many women, in vitro fertilization will likely not be their first treatment option. In fact, half of all treatment performed at Shady Grove Fertility is a more basic form of intervention called intrauterine insemination or IUI. The goal of this treatment is to increase the number of sperm that reach the Fallopian tubes and subsequently increases the chance of fertilization. IUI provides the sperm an advantage by giving it a head start, but still requires the sperm to reach and fertilize the egg on its own.
The goal of IUI treatment is to improve the rate of conception to that of the fertile population, or roughly 15 to 20 percent per attempt. Age, along with the cause of infertility, will ultimately determine what your chances of success are per cycle of IUI.
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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.
Images For How Long Does It Take The Average 36 Year Old To Get Pregnant
There are many possible reasons, including ovulation irregularities, structural problems in the reproductive system, low sperm count, or an underlying medical problem. While infertility can have symptoms like irregular periods or severe menstrual cramps, the truth is that most causes of infertility are silent.
It found that: Women aged 19-26 years had an over 50% chance of conceiving. Women aged 27-34 have a rate of just below 40% Women aged 35-39 have under a 30% chance of getting pregnant, almost half the rate of women aged 19-26.
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Can Age Affect My Ability To Get Pregnant
If you are over 35 then, perhaps try for just six months before getting help. And if youre 40 or over it is advisable to go and see your doctor as soon as you decide to try for a baby.
The reason the advice above varies by age, is that your age is a key factor in likelihood to get pregnant. A womans natural fertility will already start to decline in her late 20s due to the fact she has fewer eggs and the quality of the remaining eggs is likely to be lower than when she was younger.
After 35 years old egg depletion is at a critical level and after 40 years old the chances of achieving pregnancy are very much lower. This is true not only for natural conception but also for assisted conception.
According to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, about 95% of women aged 35 who have regular unprotected sexual intercourse will get pregnant after three years of trying, but for women aged 38, only 75% will do so2.
The graph above shows the effect of age on the declining chances of conception.
Professor William Ledger, Fertility Specialist
Is There Anything Else I Can Do
No matter your age, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to help you get pregnant, like:
- stop smoking
- take folic acid
- follow a healthy diet
You can also get your partner involved. It takes two to make a baby and your partner can also take a few steps to help boost your chances of conception. Keeping fit and healthy, reducing alcohol, and stopping smoking can help him create healthy sperm. He should also wear loose underwear and avoid hot baths: keeping the testes cool can help with sperm quality. And if you use any lubricant, make sure you buy the sperm-friendly variety.
You can see more advice in our article on the top 10 things to help you get pregnant.
Although fertility declines after 35, it is still possible to get pregnant and go on to have a healthy pregnancy. Its important to see your doctor, get the right prenatal care, and know when you ovulate to maximise your chances of getting pregnant after 35 naturally.
There are, of course, other options to getting pregnant like using an egg donor or freezing your eggs. You can also use IVF when a sperm and an egg are combined in a laboratory, and the embryo is frozen and then transferred to your uterus when you are ready. However, fertility treatments depend on many factors like your health and your age when the embryo was frozen. Talk to a fertility specialist and your doctor if you are considering an alternative route like an egg donor or IVF treatment.
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Pregnancy Week 36 Fetal Development
Your baby’s skull is made up of relatively soft and flexible bones. This will allow him or her to go through the birth canal during delivery. They’ll eventually harden during the baby’s infant years.
They’ll be shedding most of their lanugo, which is the soft downy hair that covered their body. These tiny hairs will mix in with the amniotic fluid. Inside their bowels, their first stool is forming. This is called meconium. It’s sterile and your baby won’t release it until after birth unless there’s any sort of fetal distress.