Starting a family is a big decision and nowadays, one that many people are putting off until later in life. Years ago it was common for women to start having children in their 20’s. Nowadays, it is much more common for women to wait to have children until they are in their 30s. While waiting is not a bad thing it does potentially pose a dilemma for some women. Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have, and as they age the quality and quantity of those eggs diminishes. Many women who wait until their mid to late 30s to get pregnant will have a harder time conceiving. Statistically, women who are over 35 have a 15% chance of getting pregnant without fertility treatment each month and by the time they are 40 that drop’s to 10% or less.
How long should a couple try to conceive before they consult a fertility doctor? Generally, women who are under 35 should try for a year to conceive before consulting with a fertility specialist. Once a woman reaches age 35 she should consult a specialist after trying for six months. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a common fertility treatment used to help couples conceive. It is the process in which the woman’s eggs are retrieved from her body and fertilized with a sperm sample in a lab. The embryo(s) are then transferred back into the female’s uterus. How successful is IVF? The age of a woman’s egg is the biggest success factor when it comes to IVF. A female who is 30 has a much higher chance of a live birth than a woman who is 40 years old.
IVF is typically not utilized as a treatment option unless a couple has been trying to conceive naturally for several months. Rarely, does anyone seek fertility treatment without trying naturally first, unless, there is a medical condition where the couple knows that conceiving naturally is not an option. IVF is a good option for women with different medical conditions that may make conceiving more difficult or women with advanced maternal age. While women who are in their 30s may find that it takes a year or longer to conceive the majority of those women will conceive on their own.
The bottom line is that whether you are trying to conceive naturally or with IVF the younger you are the odds are more in your favor of having a live birth. However, IVF makes having a baby more of a possibility in women who are older. If you have been trying to conceive unsuccessfully and would like to meet with a fertility specialist at RMA of Michigan please contact our office to schedule a consultation at (248) 619-3100