Will My Age Play a Factor In Getting Fertility Treatments?
Age certainly plays a role in a woman\’s fertility. Statistically speaking, becoming pregnant becomes more and more difficult for each year beyond the age of 29 that you age. Around 10% of women in their twenties, for example, report difficulties with fertility. Women in their thirties, in contrast, have problems about 25% of the time. This number raises to 50% for women over 40. Because of these factors, the first role that age plays in getting fertility treatments is the fact that, the older you are, the more likely you will be to seek out fertility treatments.
Some types of fertility treatments will be determined by your age. If your health care provider determines that age may be a factor in your fertility, it is likely that this will affect the type of procedure you may need to have. If you have an obstructed fallopian tube, for example, in vitro fertilization (IVF) would often be the solution, using your own eggs. However, if you have an obstructed fallopian tube and are over the age of 40, your health care provider might recommend using an egg donor as opposed to using your own eggs, so as to maximize the possibility of having a successful pregnancy.
Another way that age can play a factor in getting fertility treatments is that your age can affect your ovulatory cycle. It may well be that you have what is known as luteal phase defect, which is more common in older women. Luteal phase defect is a shortened luteal phase. The “luteal” phase begins on the day of ovulation and lasts until the start of the next period. During this phase, a hormone known as LH or luteinizing hormone is released. If an egg has been fertilized, it then implants into the womb. If not, the egg slowly stops producing hormones. The lining of the uterus breaks down, which will prompt your next period to occur. If the luteal phase is too short, the fertilized egg does not have time to implant into the womb. While for younger women the medication Clomid often is used to treat a luteal phase defect, Clomid may not work as well for older women.
Ultimately, there is no guarantee that your age will play a major role in your fertility treatment plan. It may be that your fertility difficulties are completely unrelated to your age, and that treating the actual cause of your fertility difficulties might just be enough.