How do I know if I am fertile? Don’t wait until the last minute to find out!
Female fertility has an expiration date and many factors other than age influence it.
If you have been hoping to get pregnant for a while and it has not happened yet, you may have asked yourself more than once: Am I fertile? And the next question that you may have in mind is: When should I visit a specialist in assisted reproduction?
To answer both questions, you should know that the probability of a healthy couple obtaining a pregnancy naturally is 20% in each cycle. 80% of couples succeed in six months and 85% in the first year. But what happens if you are not included in those success rates?
Ovarian reserve Women are born with a limited ovarian reserve, around a million eggs. But by the time they reach puberty and start menstruating, they are left with between 300,000 and half a million. With each menstruation, eggs continue to go to waste, about 1,000 per month. And throughout a woman’s fertile life, the ovaries release about 500 mature eggs. This means that a woman’s greatest moment of fertility is between 20 and 25 years old. The critical moment is when the woman reaches 35, as the oocyte quality falls drastically at this age and beyond. The best way to find out a woman’s ovarian reserve is by means of an anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) test as this will indicate how many eggs a woman has in her ovaries.
Nowadays, women spend many more years studying and job security is unstable. This has brought about a delay in motherhood. According to the latest statistics of the INE (Spanish National Institute of Statistics), Spaniards have their first child at 32.5 years of age, while in 1975, the average age to become a mother was 25.2 years. This delay in maternity is one of the reasons why in 2017 Spain recorded the lowest birth rate in the last 40 years, with only 8.4 births per thousand inhabitants.
In addition to age, other factors that affect female fertility are:
An overweight or underweight woman may have problems getting pregnant.
Stress peaks for any reason or anxiety about getting pregnant can have a negative effect on fertility.
Endometriosis or thyroid problems are directly related to the reproductive system. Therefore, a medical check prior to treatment may be necessary.
When to consult with a specialist?
If there is no disease or medical history suggesting any type of problem, gynaecologists usually advise a fertility study of the couple after one year of unprotected sex if the patient is under 35 years old. In the case of a woman who is over 35, she should visit a specialist in assisted reproduction after six months. If she is older than 40, after three months, since at that age there are very few quality eggs.
There are times, however, when you should seek specialized care much earlier. For example, if you have suffered more than one abortion or if you have pelvic infection (hereditary disease). In the case of males, hereditary diseases or undescended testicles are the main reasons for seeking medical advice. We, at ProcreaTec, recommend that you don’t wait until the last moment to conceive. If you know that your would like to wait for a more favourable moment to become pregnant, due to economic or social reasons, egg freezing will allow you to preserve your fertility.
We, at ProcreaTec, recommend that you don’t wait until the last moment to conceive.
If you have any questions about fertility, do not hesitate to ask for a free appointment or ask us to call you. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 0034914585804.