When does age become a factor when trying to conceive?

Age and Fertility

Lifestyle changes have meant that couples often leave it later than their parents and grandparents did to have children.  

We know that fertility in women peaks in their mid-twenties and starts to decline from age 30 onwards.  From age 35, fertility declines further. As a woman gets older they may experience ovulation problems as the quality of eggs decreases with age and periods may become more irregular so it may become harder to monitor ovulation cycles.

There is a myth that age does not affect a man’s fertility – it does, though at a later age, from mid to late forties.  Men will then experience a reduction in sperm motility and genetic integrity.

There is some very positive news though – 85% of couples conceive naturally within one year (1).

This means that approximately 1 in 6 couples will have difficulty conceiving.  It is estimated that the causes of infertility are evenly split – 33% women, 33% men with 34% unknown.

So for those couples who may be thinking of trying for a baby, at whatever age, it is important to know that every couple is different and that many factors play a role in conception to maximise your fertility chances.

Overall health is so important.  Not only for overall sense of well being but for energy and vitality.

It is important to eat well, to exercise regularly, to keep an eye on your weight and have your BMI checked out (below 30 for females).  Quitting smoking and cutting down on alcohol intake also help provide a better environment to help conception.

It is important to feel that you are doing your best for yourself and your partner.  Taking the correct nutritional supplements will help. 

Don’t get stressed about the process, everything worthwhile is worth waiting for.  It may seem obvious, but regular sex does improve your chances of getting pregnant!

If you feel you need some more guidance, make an appointment with your doctor after trying for six months or so.  He or she will talk to you and suggest your next step forward.

1. Source NHS