Fertility, Pregnancy Biological Clock

If you’re hoping to become pregnant this year, here is some comforting news. For the vast majority of women, fears of infertility are unfounded. Approx. 70% of couples conceive naturally within 18 months of trying for a baby and 90% within two years. Contrary to popular opinion, the proportion of couples experiencing fertility problems has remained relatively constant since the first surveys in the 1980s. However, there’s no denying the fact that fertility does decline with age. For a woman in her 20s, the natural pregnancy rate per month is 20-25%. Once she is over 35, the chances of becoming pregnant each month falls to 10%.

Many women are still unaware that fertility prowess starts nosediving after the age of 35. A few years ago, there was significant hype about ‘Biological Clock Tests’ that claim to predict future fertility by using the measurement of AMH (anti-Mullerian hormone) to assess ovarian reserve.

The AMH test is useful as it allows us to calculate the amount of fertility drugs a patient may require. However, it can only tell us women’s current fertility prowess and does not indicate how their fertility would change over time. The risk with these tests is that a woman may think that if her fertility is fine today, she can safely put off having children. She may be devastated to find out only after a couple of years that she has become sub-fertile and has difficulties in conceiving.

But one can take solace in the fact that IVF success rates are on the rise. The recent figures indicate that over 50% of women up to the age of 38 are becoming pregnant with treatment, and this is higher than the natural pregnancy rate. The increasing use of blastocyst culture, where embryos are grown for a longer period before being transferred to patient’s uterus, is improving success rates, especially among women who are over 35.

Couples can also do a lot to boost their natural fertility by improving their general health and fitness. Losing weight, stopping smoking and reducing alcohol intake are effective measures and are exceedingly important when you want to conceive.

One can easily avail tips to enhance your natural fertility from credible sources. If becoming pregnant still proves to be difficult, then showing that you are aware of these measures and have acted upon them will help your fertility expert to chart out an appropriate plan of action for you.