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In recent years, more and more women are waiting until their 30s and 40s to start a family. In the U.S., about 20 percent of women have their first child after age 35. Unfortunately, infertility increases with age and about one third of women over 35 have fertility problems.

Quality and Quantity of Eggs

  • As you get older, your chance of getting pregnant declines. At age 30 your chance of getting pregnant naturally is approximately 20 percent each month; at age 40 it drops to approximately 5 percent each month. Plus, older women are more likely to have health problems or biological issues that interfere or affect fertility.
  • As you age, the quality and quantity of your eggs significantly deteriorates. Your risk of infertility increases because you have fewer eggs in your ovaries and the quality of those eggs is lower than when you were younger. Egg quantity and quality begins to decline in your late 30s and declines more rapidly in your early 40s.
  • Your menstrual cycle and ovulation may also grow increasingly irregular as you get older and can lead to fertility problems. Learn more about your biological clock here.

Chromosomal Problems and Miscarriage

  • As you age, the eggs remaining in your ovaries are more likely to develop abnormalities in their chromosomes. These abnormalities lessen your chances of getting pregnant and increase your 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 show that a woman under 30 years old has a 5 percent chance of having a miscarriage. Wait until you’re 35-39 years old to get pregnant and that risk increases to 16 percent. If you’re 44-46 years old, you have 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. Learn more about getting pregnant in your 40s in Fertility Authority's 40s Fertility section.

IVF Success and Age

Fertility clinics usually allow a woman to use her own eggs only until somewhere between the ages of 42 and 45. 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.


Comments (44)

Is my amh level to low to conceive all my hormone level good no problems there. Husbands sperm count ant motility is great. I'm 38 and he is 32. Is there a good chance for pregnancy???

Hello Sarah, What is your AMH level? Also are you seeing a GYN or RE? You partner is also required to do a semen analysis to determine what his count is. Please contact our PCAs with any further questions at 855-955-2229- OR you can reach me directly at 646-568-5601- We are here to help you, Bhavi

Had abortion last year, now I want to have one more child naturally. I am healthy and exercise. But a busy working woman. My husband is 50. What are my chance of getting a healthy baby.

Hi Rsua,

If you are looking to schedule a fertility consultation, please give us a call! We would be happy to help you find a fertility doctor in your area who can talk to you about your ovarian reserve. 1-855-955-BABY (2229).


I'm 38 and have 3 children from x husband but in a new relationship we got pregnant on the pill but had to deliver at 15 weeks due to baby having major heRt problems and Down syndrome just last year , what are my chances of having a healthy pregnancy xxx

I'm so very sorry to hear of your loss. Something that may help is IVF + PGD as they could test the embryos before hand to see if there are any chromosomal issues before they even transfer them. In general though, I think it would be wise for you to get a fertility work-up with a reproductive endocrinologist. Please call us if we can help at 855-955-BABY (2229) or you can email

I am 39 years women my husband is 36 we want to have a child I have 4 other children and had 3 miscarriage from my x marriage . I get my period as normal for 7days, how can you help me with this, or what advise can you give me.We really want to have a baby Regards Friend

If you are 39 and have had miscarriages, you must see a fertility doctor (reproductive endocrinologist) for a fertility workup. I can't stress enough how important it is. If you'd like help finding a doctor please call our patient care advocates at 855-955-2229 or email Keep us posted. Best, Claire

I would like to use my own eggs. My hubby is 30 we have been given the OK for me to do IVF. I was told I produce 9 egg during ovulation monthly which is rare for someone my age. Do U feeI would have a good chance to have a healthy baby with my own eggs.

I can't give you medical advice as to what your individual chances are for success with IVF. According to the most recent IVF success rates, women over 42 have a less than 4% chance of pregnancy with IVF. Most fertility clinics have an age cut off for using your own eggs, and won't treat a woman in her late 40s with her own eggs because egg quality would be poor and the chance of pregnancy is so low. Make sure you are seeing a board eligible or board certified reproductive endocrinologist. Let me know if you need more info. Best, Claire

Hi, ill be 40 in a few months, about to start natural ivf (dr. Wont do reg ivf because my fsh is too high), and worried if my first baby would have down syndrome. My gyn told me I would be fine, that women in their mid 40s have more babies with birth defects. Does anyone knowwhat the ppercentage is for those risks?

Congratulations on moving ahead with IVF. The chance of having a baby with Down Syndrome when you are 40 is about 1 in 100. Since you are doing IVF, however, the doctor can screen your embryos with PGS and only transfer back an embryo that is chromosomally normal. You should discuss this with your fertility doctor. I wish you all the best. Claire

i will be 40 years old on 2014 ,i have 4 children own my own. I'm engaged i would really to have a baby from my fiance he doesn't have no kids. I'm a low imcome person no credit trying to get loan to do the tubal reversal or a vitro. but the the money is the problem. please some one help me to make this miracle happen i really want to have a nother baby from my love one. :(

Hello I am 43 years old and I am getting ready to have a Tubal reversal, so I can have two children for my husband. My baby is 22, but I don't mind starting over. I did all my test and my Doctor, was so shock to see that all of my ovaries was like a 16 year old. I found a doctor here in Louisiana to do my tubal reversal. The cost is $5200.00. I will go in to be look at again, which I will pay $1000.00 up front that is required, and I would have a year to pay off the rest at the time I'm ready to complete the surgery. This is very important to me so I'm using my taxes to pay this off. I Will be back with the detail after the surgery in April.

Im 49 and my husband is 34. He now wants to have a child of his own. So I no that I can't carry a child and I'm so sad that I can't give this to him but, if I had someone to carry for me is there anyway they can use my eggs or do I have any? I would do anything to do this for him.

Hi I'm 17 and my partner is 22 and I'm just wondering if a doctor can turn me away for trying to conceive so young ???

Hi Kaitlin, A fertility doctor may not work with you unless you have a known fertility diagnosis (or your partner has a diagnosis). Otherwise, it is recommended that women under the age of 35 try to conceive for one year before seeking the assistance of a fertility doctor. Good luck! Kim

Hi Sylvia, You may be a candidate for IVF, mini-IVF, or a donor egg IVF cycle. Are you working with a fertility doctor? Give us a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229) or email We will gladly help you connect with a low AMH specialist near you! Best, Kim

i am 55yrs and my husband is only 30 and wants a baby his first wife and child died in a aaentant i have had 7 children can any one help me please iam so sad as he should have a chid off his own

Hi Vicky, I am so sorry to hear of your husband's loss. You would first need a fertility evaluation to check your ovarian reserve. Most fertility doctors require patients to use donor eggs after the age of 42. At that point, you would be able to do IVF with your husband's sperm and the donor eggs. Please give us a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229) or email if you would like to set up a fertility evaluation. Best, Kim

You all at aleast have spouses who WANT to have kids with you. Give me the stupid person of the year award. I married a man 17 years my senior when I was 25...he had a vasectomy then, and he still has the vasectomy now. I turned 35 today, and BOY do I feel really stupid!! I have wanted a child for 10 I lost my job several months ago due to health issues, and a lot of it is because of the stress from wanting a child! The funny thing is that I am attractive, thin, etc, but have NO self esteem!!

I turned 46 in November an never imagined I would meet someone who has no children an deserves one badly an we would like to start a family. Problem is I had my tubes cut burnt an tied 19 yrs ago. Anyone know we're I could go that they would allow me to use my own eggs :( We are from Maryland an very new to this stuff. Would be so grateful for your help. God bless an good luck to all!

Hi Robin, I am so sorry you are going through this. There are definitely fertility doctors who will help you conceive with your own eggs via IVF. Give us a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229) or email and we can work with you to connect with a doctor who specializes in this. Best, Kim

Hi.....I desperately need help.....I'm 55yrs old and my husband of 7yrs is 34 he has never had a child.....a few yrs back the dr.said I have golf ball size of eggs still......I got a green light health wise and I so want to have a baby......where can we start? Plz plz help us to where we can get help......

Hi Sally, Have you consulted with a fertility doctor to test your ovarian reserve? I see you have gotten clearance health-wise, but our fertility declines with age and egg quality and quantity decline. Give us a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229) and we can help you connect with a fertility doctor in your area. Best, Kim

I just turned 36 and have 4 children. My youngest is 7 and my husband and I want another baby. my husband is 45 husband had a vasectomy reversal 7 months ago. What are the chances of having a baby?

Hi Ccearl, I'm wondering if you were successful after your husband's vasectomy? A fertility doctor can give you the best (personalized) odds for success. Give us a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229) if you are looking to connect with a fertility doctor near you. Best, Kim

Age certainly plays a factor in fertility partly because of physical reasons but also, in a way, due to time constraints. A woman who is 30 and trying to conceive feels less time pressure to conceive then a woman who is 40. Both women want a child equally, both face lowering of their chances as they age but the 40 year old has a decade child birthing years to depend upon. So it is extra pressure and the knowledge that you have less chances in general then someone much younger.

D Alishouse
This has been posted on behalf of the Indianapolis fertility clinic, American Health Network reproductive medicine, expert Reproductive Endocrinologists in Indianapolis and Da Vinci® Surgery Specialist. The information is not medical advice, and should not be treated as such. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

What data are your estimates for getting pregnant naturally at a certain age based on? On this page you state that the chances of getting pregnant naturally at age 30 is approximately 20%; at age 40 it drops to approximately 5%. On the "Fertility in your 40ties" page you say it is 30% for women 40-45 over a one-year period and less than 5% for women over 45. Scientific studies estimate the success rate for a live birth with natural conception for women actively trying as 63% at age 40 and 29% at age 45. I can't find any studies that support your numbers. Please clarify. Thanks.

I'd like to see some research on this because I know PLENTY of women who have gotten pregnant over the age of 30 and even over the age of 40. I think it has way less to do with age and way more to do with what we put in our bodies and how we treat our bodies.

With all the junk out there, not to mention the constant radiation and chemical exposure we allow into our bodies, it's a wonder any of us can still get pregnant.

I am 43 and have tried one cycle of a natural attempt to remove an egg from my ovary that did not work because I ovulated two cysts. I have had a tubal reversal and had only the left tube open. I was unhappy with the very expensive attempt to retrieve an egg because I ran around like a mad woman to time it right....and never fully felt the doctor got the timing right....he just said...oh, your levels were difficult to judge and you may have ovulated on the right side but I can not be certain.Although, he clearly had no problem taking my money and doing the procedure anyway. I want a baby very badly, but do you think I can do it on my own trying to follow my own ovulation? I just don't think this procedure stuff is healthy for me. I have gotten pregnant easily before...although much younger. Or should I try another cycle? Or is it time to give up? I am so confused. Thank you.

I am 30 years old my spouse is 55years of age we are trying very hard for a child, but he is so affair of going to the doctor,can he be at any risk of low sprem count

I am 46 and TTC. My husband is 48 . My periods are regular and due to my age my doctor quickly prescribed chlomaid @ 50mg in DEC 09. We have been TTC for 4 months, my GYN just increased me to 100mg of chlomaid, but he has not done any type of testing on me,. I don't want to waste time if we should be trying something else or if there are other issues that have not been uncovered. I have a 19 year old daughter and my husband and I are wanting another child. Time is of essence. What should we be asking our doctor regarding testing to determine if there are any other factors preventing us from conceiving. Desperate and aging !

if you haven't by now, get to a fertility specialist immediately. your doctor should be doing all kinds of bloodwork on a monthly basis to test your FSH levels and also myriad of other things that can lead to you not getting pregnant. as you know, time is not on your side....find a doctor that only specializes in infertility. chlomid, while works for some, doesn't tend to work on us "older" women...and IUI is also something they will probably steer you toward with injectible hormones instead of the chlomid....hope this helps.

As you may know that you have 2 options: 1. tubal reversal, and 2. IVF. Considering pros and cons for both options, I am leaning towards IVF. The reasons I recommend for IVF are following: 1. The chance you may take home a healthy baby is slightly higher with IVF. 2. Less risk of tubal pregnancy. The cost for both procedures is comparable. Considering you both are healthy and she had multiple children in the past, I think the chance you will have another baby is good.

Hello, my wife is 40 will be 41 this year, she had a tube tired when she had her last kid, we would like to reverse it ad have one more baby and also would like to find out more about fertility so if you can let us know our chances of been able to have baby

I also had my tubes tied and had a reversal in mexico got pg several times and miscarried and the last pregnancy ended in something call a heterotopic pregnancy. After almost dying, having one of my tubes removed, miscarring my other baby and thousands in hospital bills I cant get pg now. I now am getting ready to do IVF which is going to cost me 7000$ including medicine with a wonderful doctoer in mexico. The moral of my story is that 6 years ago if i would of just done IVF i would probaly have a baby by noyw and have not gone through all this drama. In the end it cost me more money then if i would of done IVF.

We gave birth to our gorgeous baby girl named Grace on May 22nd which is actually the same day our first daughter was born 3 years earlier. How Bizarre!! I would like to thank “ Pregnancy Miracle ” ( with all of my heart for their wonderful program which has made our lives complete.
Giant Regards

If you can afford it, I would say do the IVF. I had a tubal reversal 5 years ago at age 35.....I'm about to turn 40 and we still haven't had a baby. I've had 4 miscarriages all at about 5 weeks and the emotional pain is hard. If we could afford it we would do the IVF but it's expensive. Good Luck!!

I agree. This page has a lot of useful information to anyone with infertility issues.

I suffered from infertility for years, and doctors thought I would never get pregnant. I had to do my own research and this website was a real help as far as educating me.

I eventually managed to reverse my infertility, so I wanted to post my story so that other women could benefit as well. If you are interested in learning how I reversed my infertility, please read my story at:

Hopefully, other women can duplicate what worked for me.

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