The challenges of getting pregnant after 35
Conception after the age of 35 is becoming an increasingly common trend in the United States. Getting pregnant is a life event that can be full of joy, but for women who are considering getting pregnant after 35, it can also be a source of frustration and present many challenges.
Women over the age of 35 are considered to be of advanced maternal age. While it may be harder to conceive after the age of 35, especially if you are going into your first pregnancy, it is by no means impossible. Every year, tens of thousands of women in their mid-to-late 30s conceive naturally. However, pregnancy after the age of 35 does present some additional challenges.
The two biggest obstacles facing women trying to get pregnant after 35 are less frequent ovulation and diminished egg reserve. Occasionally, a woman may have a cycle where an egg is never released. This happens more frequently as women get older. When no egg is released, pregnancy cannot happen. In addition, the number of healthy eggs available also decreases, a phenomenon known as decreased egg reserve. What’s more, the quality of a woman’s eggs deteriorates as well.
In addition to having a more difficult time conceiving, women over 35 may also have a harder time carrying a pregnancy to term. Miscarriage is more common in women over 35, due to an increased incidence of chromosomal abnormalities.
How to increase chances of getting pregnant after 35
If you are considering getting pregnant after 35, it is important to be aware of your “fertile window.” Your fertile window is the 6-day-long period during your menstrual cycle that ends 24 hours after the time of ovulation. Pregnancy is most likely to occur during the three-day period ending on the day of ovulation. It you wish to become pregnant, it is important for you to track this period. Urine ovulation kits are an easy and relatively affordable way to help you do this.
Unfortunately, there is no way to increase your egg reserve. However, a healthy lifestyle may have a positive impact on your ability to conceive. Studies suggest that smoking, lack of exercise, and a poor diet may have an influence on egg quality. A lifestyle that includes a well-rounded diet, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and manageable amounts of stress can improve your overall health, which may aid the chances of conception for some women.
Help is available
If you are a woman over the age of 35 and find that you have not been able to conceive after more than six months, you may need to speak to a fertility specialist. While it takes women over 35 longer to conceive, it is also very important to identify any potential fertility issues as soon as possible to increase the window for fertility treatment or fertility preservation options.
If you or your partner are having trouble getting pregnant after 35, USC Fertility can help. At USC Fertility, each fertility doctor lives out a commitment to helping you reach your goal of starting a healthy family. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a fertility assessment.