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Age is no barrier to achieving many things. But it can reduce the chance of a woman getting pregnant and having a healthy baby. A woman’s age is the single most important factor affecting her fertility. As a woman ages, it takes longer to conceive and the risk of not being able to get pregnant increases. Also, the risk of miscarriage, and complications in pregnancy and childbirth, increase. At 30, the chance of conceiving each month is about 20% and at 40 it’s around 5%. This is because a woman is born with finite number of eggs in her lifetime. As she ages her eggs age with her, decreasing in quality and number.
The fertile window
These are the days in a woman’s menstrual cycle when pregnancy is possible which are during the five days before ovulation through to the day of ovulation. For those women who are not aware of their ‘fertile window’ or when they ovulate, sexual intercourse is recommended every 2 to 3 days to help optimize their chance of conceiving.
Carrying around extra pounds can affect hormone production and make it more difficult for a woman to get pregnant
Being too thin
Just as excess body fat can impact fertility, so can not having enough of it. That may be because women who have very low BMI are deficient in leptin, the hormone that controls hunger and feelings of satiety. Having low leptin contributes to the absence of menstrual periods
When a woman reaches menopause, usually in her 40s or 50s, she no longer ovulates and is unable to get pregnant. But even in the decade or so before menopause officially occurs, she may experience fertility problems as her ovulation becomes less regular and her egg count declines—a time known as perimenopause.
Exposure to pollutants, pesticides, and industrial compounds can decrease a couple's ability to have children by up to 29
Smoking can hurt a developing fetus, but lighting up can also drastically affect a woman's chances of getting pregnant in the first place. Smoking causes up to 13% of all infertility cases.
Having more than one drink a day for women has been linked to an increased risk for ovulation disorders leading to difficulty in conceiving
It can contribute to ovulation and pregnancy problems, and suggests that women having trouble conceiving be tested for over- or underactive thyroid.
Interferes with the muscle contractions that help eggs travel from the ovaries and through the fallopian tubes to the womb. It should be consumed in moderation and no more than 200 milligrams a day (that's1 to 2 8-ounce cups of coffee).
Health issues such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, polyps, ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids can affect a woman's chances of getting pregnant or successfully carrying a pregnancy to term. Women with autoimmune disorders (such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis) may also have trouble conceiving. Working with a medical team to manage and improve symptoms, and seeing if fertility help is needed can increase the chances for success. Sexually transmitted infections like Chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and cause fertility problems, even years after a woman contracts them.
Women with higher levels of an enzyme linked to stress have a harder time getting pregnant.
Infertility treatment depends on:
In cases where spontaneous pregnancy doesn't happen, couples can often still achieve a pregnancy through use of assisted reproductive technology.
Men's options can include treatment for general sexual problems or lack of healthy sperm. Treatment may include:
Although a woman may need just one or two therapies to restore fertility, it's possible that several different types of treatment may be needed before conception.
Genetic testing, also known as DNA testing, allows the determination of bloodlines and the genetic diagnosis of vulnerabilities to inherited diseases. It can provide important information for diagnosing, treating and preventing illness. Several types of genetic testing are done for different reasons:
Before you undergo genetic testing, gather as much information as you can about your family's medical history. Discuss the same with your doctor or a genetic counselor; this can help you understand your risk better. Depending on the type of test, a sample of your blood, skin, amniotic fluid or other tissue will be collected and sent to a lab for analysis. The amount of time it takes for you to receive your genetic testing results will depend on the type of test and your health care facility. No matter what the results of your genetic testing, talk with your doctor or genetic counselor about questions or concerns you may have. This will help you understand what the results mean for you and your family.