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Age and Fertility in Tampa, FL

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With more women working and a global recession that has encouraged people to put off starting families, many women in Tampa, FL, are waiting until their 30s and 40s to before they try to get pregnant. In the United States, about 20 percent of women have their first child after age 35. Unfortunately, research has shown that a woman’s fertility begins to decline in her late 20s (even though her overall chances of becoming pregnant do not start to decline so soon).

After a woman crosses into her 30s, her chances of getting pregnant do start to decline. At age 30 a healthy woman’s chance of getting pregnant naturally each month is approximately 20 percent. By age 40, her chance of conceiving naturally each month drops to approximately 5 percent. About one third of women over 35 have fertility problems. Even though women are taking better care of themselves than in the past, improved health in later life does not offset natural declines in fertility. In addition, older women are more likely to have health problems or biological issues that interfere or affect fertility.

Ovarian Reserve: Quality and Quantity of Eggs

Two of the most important things that affect your ability to get pregnant are how many eggs you have left and the quality of these eggs. These together are known as your ovarian reserve.

As a woman ages, the quality and quantity of your eggs significantly deteriorates. The risk of infertility increases because a woman has fewer eggs in her ovaries, and the quality of those eggs is lower than when she was younger. Egg quantity and quality begins to decline in a woman’s late 30s and declines more rapidly in your early 40s.

A woman’s menstrual cycle and ovulation may also grow increasingly irregular as you get older and can lead to fertility problems.

Chromosomal Problems and Miscarriage

As a woman ages, the eggs remaining in her ovaries also are more likely to develop abnormalities in their chromosomes. These abnormalities lessen the chances of getting pregnant and increase the risk for miscarriage. In fact, at least one half of all miscarriages are due to abnormal chromosomes.

The risk of miscarriage also increases with age. Several studies have found that a woman under 30 years old has a 5 percent chance of having a miscarriage. At 35 to 39 years old, that risk increases to 16 percent, and at 44 to 46 years old, a woman has a 60 percent chance of having a miscarriage.

All these fertility problems tie in together. Older women have an increased risk for miscarriage due to the increase in chromosomal abnormalities in their eggs. In addition, lower quality eggs also raise the risk of chromosomal abnormalities and miscarriage.

IVF Success and Age

One way to try to overcome the effects of aging on fertility is through the use of fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF) or third party reproduction such as egg or embryo donation. Fertility clinics in Tampa will counsel older women about using their own eggs for IVF vs. using a donor egg.

If you decided to pursue a fertility treatment such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) with a Tampa fertility clinic, make sure you understand the success rates for that Tampa fertility clinic for a woman in your age group. In 2008, Tampa fertility clinics performed 420 IVF cycles on women under 35, 188 IVF cycles on women ages 35 to 37, 160 IVF cycles on women ages 38 to 40, 50 IVF cycles on women ages 41 to 42, and 14 IVF cycles on women ages 43 to 44.

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