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Fertility Myth 1: If You Feel Young and Have Regular Periods, You're Still Fertile
All week, we’re highlighting fertility myths and facts. We’ve asked fertility doctors what myths they see perpetuated, and we set the record straight.
Fertility Myth #1
One myth among many women of advanced reproductive age (40 and above) is that because they look and feel as they did when they were in their early 30s and are still having regular menstrual cycles they are as fertile as they may have once been.
When it comes to fertility, age matters! Fertility begins to decline in your 30s, and declines sharply in your late 30s. At age 30, you have a 20 percent chance of getting pregnant naturally. At age 40, your chance of getting pregnant naturally is only 5 percent.
Not only do you have fewer eggs as you get older, but the quality of your eggs diminishes. In fact, as you get older your remaining eggs are likely to develop chromosomal abnormalities, which reduce the likelihood of pregnancy and increases the risk of miscarriage.
If you are 35 or older and have been trying to have a child for six months, see a fertility doctor – technically known as a reproductive endocrinologist. (There’s a search feature on every page of fertilityauthority.com, allowing you to search for a fertility doctor or fertility clinic by city, state and/or zip code.)
A fertility doctor can assess your individual situation. Blood tests can measure hormone levels, ovarian reserve and whether or not ovulation has occurred. Depending on the outcome of the fertility workup, you will be given a treatment plan.
IVF can help overcome some of the obstacles related to age. However, some fertility clinics do have an age cut off for using your own eggs: 43 or 44. IVF with donor eggs – eggs from a woman in her 20s – is allowing many women who would not otherwise become pregnant, conceive and carry a child.
Tune in tomorrow (and throughout the week) for more facts about fertility myths.
Bust a Myth
What's a fertility myth you've busted? Tell it to us here for NIAW and you may win a prize!