You may have heard the term ‘biological clock’ at least once in your life. It is the notion that as you grow older, it gets more difficult for you to have children. For those in their 30s and 40s who are attempting to conceive (or maybe people in their 20s who want to leave the option open until later in their lives), there may be the question, “Should I worry about not being able to have kids because of my age?”
The answer isn’t really a clear black and white yes or no, but there is a relation. As the most trusted fertility clinic in Davao, we want to make sure you understand the effect of age on fertility.
Fertility in females
It is known that a woman’s best reproductive years are her 20s, and such optimal condition begins to decline during her 30s, particularly after around the age of 35. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, “By age 40, a woman’s chance [of getting pregnant] is less than 5% per cycle, so fewer than 5 out of every 100 women are expected to be successful each month.”
As a woman ages, the limited amount of eggs available in the ovarian reserve naturally depletes and estrogen production declines. Well before the years leading to menopause, the quality of eggs or oocytes produced by the ovaries grows to have less quality and are less likely to produce embryos that will be able to successfully implant.
Fertility in males
Although males do not experience menopause as women do and continue to produce sperm well until they die, age still has a lot to do with how healthy their sperm is.
A man may experience fertility decline in as late as his 60s or 70s, but the decrease of sperm morphology (shape) and motility (movement), two extremely important factors in successful fertilization, will have already begun by then. Furthermore, sperm produced by males at a later age is also more likely to result in genetic defects in their offspring.
The role of IVF
Thanks to current assisted reproductive techniques, there are now more options available for couples who want to have children later on or even for older couples who are having trouble conceiving on their own. For one thing, IVF can help with fertility preservation thanks to the availability of egg freezing, sperm freezing, and even embryo freezing. With this, a couple may be able to preserve their egg and sperm at their most pristine state and make use of it when they’re ready. They may even have an egg fertilized and have the embryo itself frozen for future use.
IVF can also be of great assistance to couples who are already at an older age and struggling with a successful pregnancy. Often times couples who seek specialist assistance still stand a good chance at having kids; they simply need assistance in making sure fertilization happens.
If you’re interested in consulting with fertility specialists and learning more about fertility preservation, visit your local IVF clinic in Davao. Our specialists will be more than ready to assist you with all your concerns regarding fertility.