Today, infertility is becoming a not-so-rare problem, and increasingly I see older patients walking into our clinic for treatment. What role does age have to play in infertility? If yes, at what age should women actually be concerned about their fertility? In their 20’s, 30’s or later? A woman should definitely start being concerned & plan for a baby no later than the age of 35; however awareness about fertility should start much before that !
I’m not saying that women have to actually take any specific action when they are in their 20’s, in order to preserve their fertility, though it is true that a lot of young women ask us about egg freezing or cryopreservation. Awareness about fertility should start when you are in your 20’s and typically, this includes your sexual health as well as your overall lifestyle.
It’s a known fact that with age, there is a decline in fertility in women; but there is a lot more than age going on behind the scenes which comes as surprise to most of my patients. For example, it's not the older woman's uterus which becomes weak - it's her eggs which run out, something which a lot of women still don't know. This is why older women wrongly assume that if they want to have a baby, they will need surrogacy, when actually the right treatment for them would be donor egg IVF !
Lifestyle Factors that Affect Fertility
Lifestyle factors can harm your fertility. Here is some advice for women who are in their 20’s- early 30’s:
• Keep those Bad Habits at Bay- It’s not uncommon for people in their 20’s and 30’s to live in a completely carefree manner. They use tobacco, some consume alcohol excessively while others may be obese; all of which are factors which contribute to difficulty in conception.
All these habits can impact your ability to conceive. Apart from this, they are also an indication of overall poor health. All IVF specialists will recommend that if you want to improve your chances of conception, you will have to practice a lifestyle which encourages good health. Cutting down on alcohol, quitting smoking, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy BMI are good starting points.
• Sexual Health- Some STD’s when left untreated can affect an individual’s fertility. A number of sexually transmitted diseases don’t really exhibit any symptoms. It’s important that both women and men undergo STD testing & treatment as required; it’s also important to practice appropriate use of contraceptives
• Track your Menstrual Cycle- If you are on any birth control, the contraception method you are using will determine your cycle. For women who aren’t using an IUD or pill, the good way of determining your fertility future is to track your menstrual cycle. Of course, there is no reason to go crazy if you skip a period once in a while or if your cycle doesn’t match-up from one month to the next.
A significant number of young women utilize birth control to prevent pregnancy because they naively assume that conception won’t be an issue, and that infertility is a problem which will never affect them !
Need more information? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you better!