There are many reasons why a woman may wait until later in life to have her first baby. For some it is a personal choice, for others health issues require postponing pregnancy. For many, the stars simply don’t align early in life. If you are a woman planning to have a child later in life, there are many technologies available that can help preserve your fertility.
For those over 35 who are hoping for pregnancy, it’s encouraging to remember that historically women have always had children in their late 30s and early 40s (though generally not their first) and it is quite natural to have a baby at this age. However, fertility does begin to decline with age, beginning at age 32 and more quickly and dramatically after age 37. The key to this drop in fertility is due not to the aging woman, but to her aging eggs. Every woman is born with all of the eggs that she will have and as the eggs age, the number of healthy eggs decreases. This can result in a higher chance of infertility, miscarriage, and genetic disorders such as Down Syndrome.
Technologies Offer Hope
Fortunately, advanced medical technology employed at Fertility Centers of Illinois allows us to extend the biological clock for many women. There are an increasing number of options to explore with your doctor that can address age-related fertility problems and enhance your chances of becoming a mother. Some of these include:
With this technique, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, a patient’s eggs are frozen to be thawed and fertilized at a later date, effectively stopping the aging process in the eggs. We are proud to use the most advanced and effective form of this technique, called vitrification. With vitrification an egg is placed in a small volume of vitrification medium and cooled at an extremely rapid rate. The fast freezing eliminates the formation of ice crystals in the egg—a problem encountered with older versions of egg freezing—making vitrification the most effective technology available.
When to See a Fertility Specialist
If you are over 35 and have spent six months or more having unprotected intercourse with no success, now is the time to consult a fertility specialist. If you are over 40, it’s important that you seek help as soon as possible. We invite you to contact us to consult with a physician.