Many women today find themselves trying to conceive after the age of 35. This opportunity can be full of joys and riddled with new questions. Despite the challenges, many women in their thirties and forties successfully conceive.
The most common cause of age-related decline in fertility is less frequent ovulation. As women age, they begin to have occasional cycles where an egg is never released. Egg quality and quantity also declines in a woman’s 30s and 40s. Other reasons conceiving after 35 may be more difficult include:
Infection or surgery that caused scar tissue around the fallopian tubes or cervix
Fibroids or uterine disorders
Decrease in cervical fluid
Chronic health problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes
Miscarriage is also more common in women over 35. This is often caused by increased incidence of chromosomal abnormalities. Women aged 35-45 have a 20-35 % chance of miscarriage.
Trying to conceive after 35 may seem overwhelming, but there are many things you can do to make getting pregnant easier. Here are some things to remember:
Schedule a pre-conception appointment. You and your health care provider can review your medical history, current medications and overall lifestyle. This gives you the opportunity to address any concerns about trying to conceive after 35.
Women over 35 take longer to conceive. The average time it takes a couple over 35 to conceive is 1-2 years, so try to remain positive if you do not become pregnant immediately.
A woman who is physically, mentally and emotionally healthy is more likely to conceive. Alcohol, smoking and caffeine can negatively affect fertility. Being overweight or underweight can also affect fertility by interfering with hormone function.
Observing your fertility signs can tell you a lot about your body. Recording your basal body temperature and cervical fluid can help you pinpoint the best time to have intercourse while trying to conceive. These fertility signs can also reveal if you are ovulating regularly. Becoming familiar with your fertility will also help you discern between pending signs and symptoms of pregnancy.
Visit your health care provider if you haven’t conceived after 6 months of purposeful intercourse. If you have not conceived after 6 months, contact your health care provider to discuss the possibility of fertility testing. You may decide to consult a fertility specialist at this time.