Conceiving after 35
It is not uncommon for women today to try to conceive after reaching the age of 35. The opportunity to conceive at this age can bring considerable joy, but also numerous questions about the risks of pregnancy at this age. However, despite the challenges that are present when conceiving after 35, many women are able to successfully conceive while in their thirties and forties.
What Kinds of Challenges Exist for Women Wishing to Conceive After 35?
Perhaps the most common challenge women over 35 face in trying to conceive is a decrease in the frequency of ovulation. This is an age-related decline in fertility; as women advance in age, they start to have the occasional cycle in which an egg is not released from a fallopian tube. Additionally, both the quality and quantity of a woman's eggs tend to decrease as the woman reaches her thirties and forties.
Beyond decreases in egg quality, quantity, and release frequency, additional challenges women wishing to conceive after 35 may face include a decrease in cervical fluid, fibroids or disorders of the uterus, endometriosis, chronic health problems, including diabetes and high blood pressure, and scar tissue around the cervix or fallopian tubes resulting from surgery or infection. Beyond these potential barriers to conception, women over 35 are also more likely to have miscarriages. Typically, these miscarriages occur due to chromosomal abnormalities, which are more likely to occur in the eggs of older women. The chance of a miscarriage in a woman between 35 and 45 is 20 to 35 percent.
What Can I Do to Increase My Chance of Conceiving After 35?
In light of the concerns described above, trying to conceive after 35 may seem like an insurmountable challenge. However, women over 35 can still try numerous techniques to increase their likelihoods of becoming pregnant. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:
First, schedule some type of pre-conception appointment. During such an appointment, you and your physician or other health care provider can have a discussion during which you review your overall lifestyle, medical history, and current medications. You can also take this time to discuss any concerns you may have about your attempts to conceive after 35.
Second, remember that a woman over 35 will usually need more time to conceive. For example, it takes a couple over 35 between one and two years to conceive, on average. As a result, do your best to stay positive about conception and a future with children, even if you are not able to become pregnant on your first or second try.
To that effect, women who are healthy are more likely to conceive. This refers not only to physical health, but to mental and emotional health. Substances that can negatively affect fertility include alcohol consumption, smoking, and caffeine use. Similarly, being underweight or overweight can also reduce the likelihood of fertility due to interference with hormone functioning. Additionally, depression or anxiety can also have negative effects on attempts at conception. Do your best to remain healthy!
Finally, you can learn a lot about your body simply by observing your signs of fertility. For example, if you record your basal or typical body temperature, as well as your basal cervical fluid levels can provide valuable information on the best times to engage in intercourse for the purpose of conception. Monitoring signs of fertility can also provide information on the regularity of your ovulation. As you become more familiar with your fertility patterns, you will become increasingly able to tell the difference between pending signs of fertility, as well as signs of being pregnant.