30 Jul How does age affect fertility?
Fertility is a big issue that worries many Kuwaiti couples. Having a great and healthy family is a great reason for happiness in the Middle East. In addition, the possibility of choosing the sex of the baby, increases the desire to have more children and form a gender balanced family. But hoy does age affect fertility?
At what age are women more fertile?
The period of greatest fertility for women lasts only about 10 years, between 20 and 30 years approximately. Even so, everything will depend on the ovarian quality, the number of ovules and their characteristics. It is possible that a woman of 40 years has ovules in perfect condition, while a woman of 30 years finds the quality of her ovules diminished.
In general, however, the pregnancy rate is 25% between 20 and 29 years old. After 30 years, the odds slowly decrease until we reach age 35, where the odds are around 15%. Once this age range is passed, the chances of getting pregnant decline drastically. At 40, the success rate is 8% and from 42 years old it decreases to 5%.
The risk of having a fetus with some chromosomal abnormality also increases with the age of the woman. Although many of these alterations are associated spontaneous abortions because they are very severe and the fetus can not survive, others are compatible with life, such as Down syndrome, for example. The risk for a 25-year-old woman of having a child with Down syndrome is 0.08% (1/1200), for a woman of 35 years it is 0.28% (1/350) and for a woman of 45 it is 3.3 % (1/30). So we see how age affect fertility.
Taking this data into account, and with the global tendency to have children at a later age, we find many couples over 35 who have problems to conceive and who are at high risk of having children with some chromosomal alteration. Luckily, thanks to medical and technological advances, there are currently many techniques and treatments for different causes of infertility. It gives the opportunity to be parents or expand family to thousands of couples.
Does age affect fertility of a man?
There is a belief that men are fertile throughout their entire lives. However, this belief is not correct. Age does not affect the male reproductive system so drastically. There is hardly any difference in the mobility and quantity of sperm from a man aged 18 to one of 65. However, the probability of having damaged the genetic material he transmits to his children increases. It has been seen that the level of spontaneous mutations is 5 times higher in the sperm of a 45-year-old man than that of a 20-year-old man. It has been seen that elderly parents are more at risk of having children with monogenic diseases such as achondroplasia, Apert syndrome, Crouzon syndrome or MEN2, among others.
How to prevent my child from being born with these genetic alterations?
We now know how age affect fertility, but how can we prevent children from it? Couples with one or both members with more than 35 years can benefit from different treatments of infertility problems associated with age. And benefit from an adequate assessment of their risks and the most appropriate genetic analyzes. Before, during and/or after conception to maximize your chances of having a healthy child.
Check our website for more information about these treatments!