Answer from: Wael Saab, MRCOG, Bsc
Ladies who are approximately 35 years of age – it’s the time when most of the ladies or most of the patients start thinking “okay, I left it a little bit long possibly now” and the common question is “what can I do to improve my fertility at the age of 35?”. Obviously there are quite, at the age of 35 onwards, we always advise ladies whenever they are ready to start the family, don’t delay starting a family. There are lots of factors or parameters that they can do in their day-to-day lifestyle to improve fertility: cutting down their caffeine, stopping alcohol, stopping smoking (if they smoke), make sure to have a well-balanced diet, take their folic acid, the vitamin D, make sure that they are trying to time intercourse around the time of ovulation (if they are trying naturally) and there are lots of things they can do. If they are timing intercourse: they can either try by having intercourse on alternate days (approximately starting from around day 9 or 10 of their cycle if they have a 28 day cycle) or alternatively they might use the ovulation kit that they can purchase over the counter – it’s like a urine pregnancy test where they start doing it approximately from day 8, 9 onwards and whenever the test shows a positive surge or a positive test for ovulation, they might time intercourse on that day and the following day. These are some tips that will help. Obviously make sure, in addition to that, they are following a healthy exercise and having their five a day of fruits and veggies.
The odds of conception, in general, starts dropping from the age of even 20s the chances of pregnancy will start dropping but they will start dropping relatively fast from the age of 35 and very fast from the age of 40. Just as a general or a rough rule, the probability of conception per month in people in their 20s up until 35 is approximately one in four. That will start decreasing to reach approximately one in ten at the age of 40. So, we assume approximately at the age of 35, the odds of conception, are going to be every month one in five to one in six – that’s why we try to avoid advising people to delay starting a family and the chances of pregnancy are obviously still there, but not delay to seek medical advice if things did not happen after a year.
Answer from: James Nicopoullos, MD
Sort of generic broad question and the honest answer is: you can’t because your fertility is based on the quantity and quality of your eggs, so that’s going to go down as you get older and there ain’t much you can really do about it. If you look at a bigger picture, the one thing you can do is consider freezing your eggs earlier, so you’ve got more of a choice in the future -if you aren’t thinking about having a baby straight away. The second thing you can do is think about some sort of fertility treatment that gives you a higher chance of getting pregnant compared to trying naturally, the IUI or IVF. The third thing is the general lifestyle, things to optimize, things for you whatever your age may be, again, smoking, alcohol not so much, nutrition but there isn’t a whole lot you can really do to pause that decline I’m afraid.
Are there any ways to make woman more fertile after 35?
It is well known that fertility declines dramatically after the age of 35. We need to keep in mind that this information is based on statistics and individually things can look a bit different. What should we do when we think about leaving parenthood for later on?