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Fertility and Age

Of late, it is very common in Europe for couples to have children late in their lives. National Statistics for England and Wales report that from 1980s the percentage of women who are giving birth to children after the age of 30 has increased considerably and the percentage of women under 30 giving birth have come down much. There are several reasons for this. Some of the couples are giving low priority for having babies compared to what used to be earlier. Some find it more difficult to have children while they go for higher studies or develop careers. For some others, the pressures of financial difficulties keep them in the job market for long. Another group who is ready to have children is unable to find suitable partners who are prepared to have children at a younger age. The availability of a variety of very effective contraceptives plays a part in having children late in life and keeping the family size small.

fertility and age

The people who are waiting to develop a good career and clear their debts face a big problem when they start thinking of having children. For most of the people aged beyond 30 it is not easy to have children. The most productive period for women is between the ages of 20 and 24. By the age of 30, infertility sets in for women and the chances of getting pregnant decline very sharply. In men fertility declines by the age, but it remains longer and the decline is much slower.

The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority reports that the fertility of a woman at the age of 25 is reduced by half by the time she reaches 30. Likewise, it further declines by another 50% while she reaches 40. That means the chances of getting pregnant at the age of 40 is only one fourth of what was at the age of 25. Those couples who want to have children later in life must try to get pregnant regularly for two years. Regular effort means having unprotected sex every two or three days throughout the cycle. Normally 92% of the women found to conceive within two years. Those who do not get pregnant and are over the age of 35 years must try for a further period of one year. It has been found that 6% of the women at the age of 35 years and 23% of those who are 38 years do not conceive even after regular unprotected sex for three years.

It is very important to go for infertility treatment at the age of 35 if you fail to get pregnant even after continuous efforts(Read more about How can I increase my chance of getting pregnant after 35?). The reason is that after that age, the chances of getting pregnant are declining very fast with passage of time. After the age of 45, getting pregnant is rare although it is not non-existent. Today assisted reproductive technologies have improved the possibility of getting pregnant. But it is better to go for help as early as possible if you are in the age group of fast declining fertility. The best course is to have a baby before the age of 30. If you want to have a baby after that, go for help when your initial efforts fail.

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