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Women’s fertility and age: Knowing what to expect

When it comes to age and fertility, the 20s are a woman’s most fertile period. During your 20s, you tend to have the highest chance of conceiving. Research indicates that among women who are age 25, there’s an 87% chance of conceiving after 12 months of trying through sexual intercourse.

What is the peak fertility age for a woman?
A woman’s peak fertility age is typically seen in her early- to mid-20s. During this decade, the ovaries have a relatively large number of healthy eggs, and the likelihood of fertilization each month is at its highest.

Fertility in your 30s

Fertility gradually declines over time: studies show that a steep decline tends to occur after age 32, and it becomes even more rapid after age 37. However, during her 30s, a woman’s chance of getting pregnant is still 20% each month, on average.

After age 35, a woman is considered to be of “advanced maternal age” (AMA), which means that an OBGYN or reproductive specialist may consider her pregnancy to be at a higher risk.

Advanced maternal age has implications for a pregnancy because it is associated with a higher risk of miscarriage, as well as chromosomal abnormalities in the child. This may be due to a decrease in egg quality that can result when higher levels of certain hormones circulate in the blood (such as follicle-stimulating hormone, or FSH).

A pregnancy after age 35 is also considered higher risk because it has health implications for the mother, who faces a higher likelihood of pregnancy-related complications such as gestational diabetes.

If you’re interested in knowing more about your own fertility and reproductive hormones, you can use the Everlywell at-home Women’s Fertility Test to check your hormone levels from the comfort of home.

Boosting fertility in your 30s

Wondering how to boost fertility in your 30s? The general principles of women’s health are very important when it comes to having a successful pregnancy. Effective stress management and avoiding cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol intake, and excessive exercise can help increase your chances of getting pregnant in your 30s.

Visiting a fertility specialist, and discussing treatment methods such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), can also help increase your chances of a successful pregnancy as you approach your late 30s.

Fertility in your 40s

Though there’s a decline in female fertility with age, it’s still possible for a woman to get pregnant during her 40s.

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a woman’s chance of getting pregnant is 20 percent each month in her 30s, and this drops to 5 percent each month in her 40s.

Fortunately, assisted fertility treatments are available to women who are in their 40s—and many women in their 40s give birth to healthy babies. In fact, the fastest-growing category of pregnant women is women who are age 40 to 44, according to fertility rate data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Can a 50-year-old woman get pregnant?

For most women, the 50s represent the onset of menopause (on average, women enter menopause at age 51), which is the time when changes in a woman’s body cause ovulation and the menstrual cycle to cease completely. Once this has happened, it’s practically impossible to become pregnant naturally.

But for some women in their 50s, it’s still possible to get pregnant—especially if assisted reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization (IVF) are used. In fact, there’s been an increase in births among mothers over age 50 in the United States. In the year 2018, 959 mothers over age 50 gave birth.


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