National Infertility Awareness Week is April 20-26 this year, so this month is a great time to learn more about infertility. Infertility is a problem that can touch couples in all age ranges, although fertility potential generally decreases over time. Here’s what you should know:
In Your 20s
Your 20s are your peak fertility years. However, some may still experience difficulty achieving pregnancy. For many of these couples, there is a clear identifiable factor causing a problem, such as an abnormal sperm count, problems with the fallopian tubes, or other factors such as endometriosis.
For many women in this age group, the number of eggs within the ovaries is still good, and the chances of achieving pregnancy are high, especially with intervention. The bottom line is this: If you haven’t gotten pregnant within a year of trying in your 20s, you need to get checked out.
In Your Early 30s
All of the factors that cause problems for couple couples in their 20s can also be present after the age of 30. But after 30, diminished ovarian function begins to play a role for many women. Additionally, many factors related to infertility, such as sperm function and endometriosis, tend to worsen with age. The bottom line still remains the same as your 20s; if you aren’t pregnant after trying for one year, it’s time for an infertility evaluation.
In Your Late 30s
A woman is born with all of the eggs that she will have for her lifetime – but egg quantity and quality go down with time, steeply declining after the age of 35. After 35, eggs tend to become somewhat genetically unstable, which can lead to problems achieving and maintaining pregnancy. For these reasons, fertility treatments become less effective with advancing age, and success rates for any given treatment go down sharply with each passing year. Because of this, current recommendations are to have a fertility evaluation after six months of not achieving pregnancy after the age of 35.
In Your 40s
For those having difficulty conceiving, reproductive therapies provide excellent success rates for many couples. However, even the most aggressive therapies may fail to produce a pregnancy for many couples in their early to mid 40s. Time is critical in evaluating and treating couples in this age group.
For many couples, having problems identified and treated sooner rather than later can make all the difference. New technology, such as egg freezing with vitrification, can help preserve fertility, too. Thankfully, many factors that lead to infertility can be addressed and treated with current therapies available – but age remains an important factor.
This month, Fertility Associates of Memphis is helping to spread infertility awareness throughout our community. It’s a fact that in the United States, 10 to 15 percent of all couples will face infertility issues, and many will be diagnosed with a reproductive disorder. That means you or someone you know will most likely experience some type of infertility.
Check out our infertility awareness web page at http://fertilitymemphis.com/infertility-awareness-week/ and share it with others. Is it time to make an appointment with one of our board certified specialists? Please call our Fertility Associates of Memphis office at 901-747-2229.We would be happy to help you.