Infertility (cont.)

How does age affect a woman's ability to have children?

Many women are waiting until their 30s and 40s to have children. In fact, about 20 percent of women in the United States now have their first child after age 35. So age is a growing cause of fertility problems. About one-third of couples in which the woman is over 35 have fertility problems.

Aging decreases a woman's chances of having a baby in the following ways:

  • Her ovaries become less able to release eggs.
  • She has a smaller number of eggs left.
  • Her eggs are not as healthy.
  • She is more likely to have health conditions that can cause fertility problems.
  • She is more likely to have a miscarriage.

How long should women try to get pregnant before calling their doctors?

Most experts suggest at least one year. Women 35 or older should see their doctors after six months of trying. A woman's chances of having a baby decrease rapidly every year after the age of 30.

Some health problems also increase the risk of infertility. So, women should talk to their doctors if they have:

It is a good idea for any woman to talk to a doctor before trying to get pregnant. Doctors can help you get your body ready for a healthy baby. They can also answer questions on fertility and give tips on conceiving.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/15/2013

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Infertility - Cause Question: What is the cause of your infertility?
Infertility - Experiences Question: Please share your experiences with infertility.