Fertility and Pregnancy After Age 35 :: Fact or Fiction?

Shannon M. Clark, MD
February 11, 2020
Fertility and Pregnancy After Age 35 :: Fact or Fiction?

A woman is born with all the eggs she will ever have in her lifetime :: FACT

A female is born with 1-2 million eggs. At puberty she has 300,000-500,000,at age 37 she has 25,000, and age 51 she has 1,000 eggs left. Most women are no longer able to become naturally pregnant in their mid-40s. However, while a woman’s eggs have an expiration date, the uterus, or where a fertilized egg will attach and grow, does not age quite as quickly.

That isn’t so bad. I can get pregnant easily at 40. It only takes one! :: FICTION

Both egg quantity {the number of eggs a woman has available for fertilization or “ovarian reserve“} and egg quality {the eggs that are genetically normal} decrease as a woman ages, but the decrease starts to  accelerates by age 35-37 and drastically decreases after age 40. A decrease in egg quality means that although there are available eggs after age 35 and 40, a higher percentage of them may be damaged, which makes the chromosomes defective and unable to produce a normal pregnancy.

For women in their 20s, the chance of getting pregnant within 1 year is 78-86%. For women ages 30 to 34, the chance of getting pregnant within 1 year is approximately 63%. For women ages 35 to 39, the chance of conception within 1 year declines to 52%, but the chance of miscarriage or pregnancy loss is increased. This rate continues to decline into a woman’s 40s.

Click here to read the entire article on Houston Moms Blog!

Shannon M. Clark, MD

Shannon M. Clark, MD

Shannon M. Clark, MD, MMS is a double board certified ObGyn and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist, and founder of Babies After 35. In her roles as a clinician, educator and researcher at UTMB-Galveston, she focuses on the care of people with maternal and/or fetal complications of pregnancy. Dr. Clark has taken a special interest in pregnancy after the age of 35, which according to age alone, is considered a high-risk pregnancy.

Follow Shannon on TikTok @tiktokbabydoc, Facebook @babiesafter35, and Instagram @babiesafter35.

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