Why are women most fertile in their 20s?
A woman is born with all the eggs she is going to have in her lifetime. Her eggs age with her, decreasing in quality and quantity. Women are born with around 1–2 million eggs and this number continually declines from birth. At 37 years old, there are around only 25,000 eggs left. The declining quality of the eggs also reduces the chances for pregnancy.
It is now easy to understand why women are most fertile in their 20s, with their fertility declining gradually in their 30s, and quickly after the age of 35.
Are only women affected?
While age is the single biggest factor affecting a woman’s chance to conceive and have a healthy baby, age affects the ability to conceive and have a healthy baby for both men and women. Male fertility decline is more subtle, but a man’s age affects the chances of his (female) partner conceiving. Male age over 45 years increases the risk of miscarriage, and the child’s risk of mental health and developmental disorders.
What if I am soon turning 35?
If you’re aged 35 or older, please don’t be too alarmed. While it does become harder for you to get pregnant, having a healthy diet and lifestyle can improve your chances of pregnancy and of a healthy baby, paired with one of the many fertility treatments available that have helped older women to have a baby.
Where should I start?