Recent research conducted by RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, of whom Shady Grove Fertility is a visionary partner, reveals the overwhelming majority of fertility patients who responded (n=416) wished they had known more about their fertility when they were younger and were not fully aware of the link between female age and fertility potential.
What is the link between age and fertility?
Our mission is to take an active role in educating our community about the link between age and fertility. This important message is intended to educate and empower women and men about the importance of early fertility intervention. “Many people wait to seek fertility treatment thinking conception will happen on its own, regardless of age. The reality is, the longer you wait to seek fertility care, the fewer treatment options that will be available to you,” reminds Naveed Khan, M.D., of SGF’s Leesburg, VA office.
“Age is the biggest factor affecting a woman’s egg supply. The older a woman gets, the fewer eggs she has left, and the more likely those eggs will be affected by a chromosomal abnormality,” says Shruti Malik, M.D., of SGF’s Fair Oaks, VA office. “Unfortunately, no treatment exists that will increase the quantity or quality of your egg supply,” adds Malik.
“For women, the ability to conceive is tied to the quality of her eggs. A woman’s fertility peaks in her mid-20s, begins to decline around 27, and drops off more steeply after age 35. A woman’s fertility is measured by her ability to achieve a pregnancy on a given month. As women age, hormonal changes begin to take place. There is a lot going on but of particular interest are the two main hormones controlling the development and release of the egg each month. These are follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH),” adds Dr. Malik.
Another factor to consider is the quantity of eggs. “As a woman ages, the number of eggs in her ovarian reserve continually declines,” says Frank Chang, M.D., of SGF’s Rockville, MD location. “Women are born with their lifetime supply of eggs—generally around 1 to 2 million. By the time a woman reaches menopause, typically in her early- to mid-50s, as many as a few hundred remain, potentially even less,” adds Chang. “To illustrate this point, the natural pregnancy rate for women older than 30 is 20 to 30 percent per month but by age 40 the likelihood of conception occurring naturally drops to less than 5 percent per month,” adds Dr. Chang.
When to Seek Help
SGF remains committed to informing, connecting, and empowering our patients about the importance of early fertility intervention and the direct impact of age on fertility. This is why we adhere to the guidelines of infertility that indicate the length of time trying to conceive based on a woman’s age and when to seek help.
We believe a more informed patient is a more confident patient. Connect with us through our live webinars, on-demand webinars, in-person seminars, blog posts, patient stories, social channels, and email communication.
To learn more about the relationship between age and fertility or schedule an appointment with an SGF fertility specialist, please contact the New Patient Center at 1-877-971-7755 or complete our brief online form.