Odds of Getting Pregnant by Age

What are your odds of getting pregnant at your age?  While there are a lot of other factors, age makes a big difference in how likely you are to either conceive or have problems getting pregnant.

odds of getting pregnantOdds of Pregnancy in One Female Fertility Cycle:

In any given cycle, a younger women is more likely to get pregnant.

  • At the age of 25, a woman has a 30% –35% chance of getting pregnant during one cycle.
  • At the age of 35, a woman has a 15% –20% chance of getting pregnant during one cycle.
  • At the age of 45, a woman has a 3% –5% chance of getting pregnant during one cycle.

Chances of Getting Pregnant Within One Year:

Over the course of a year, it is even more obvious how a woman’s age can affect her odds of getting pregnant.

  • At the age of 20, a woman has a 86% chance of getting pregnant within one year.
  • At the age of 25, a woman has a 78% chance of getting pregnant within one year.
  • At the age of 30, a woman has a 63% chance of getting pregnant within one year.
  • At the age of 35, a woman has a 52% chance of getting pregnant within one year.
  • At the age of 40, a woman has a 32% chance of getting pregnant within one year.
  • At the age of 45, a woman has a 5% chance of getting pregnant within one year.
  • At the age of 50+, a woman has less than 1% chance of getting pregnant within one year.

As you can see, starting from about age 40, a woman is more likely to to be dealing with infertility than getting pregnant.  This is why so many women over the age of 40 have trouble getting pregnant.

Male Age Matters Too

While it is true that fertility falls more sharply for women as they get older than for men, male infertility is not uncommon. Studies have shown that both the quality and quantity of their semen is lower the older a man gets, especially after age 40.

What this Means for You

The good news is that many couples can still have children later in later, but it may not be as easy as it is for younger couples. However, it is important to seek help earlier rather than later to optimize your chances of getting pregnant!

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Common Causes of Infertility Problems

While every couple is different, there are some common causes of infertility problems and fertility issues.

Most Common Infertility Causes:

Below are the top six most common fertility issues:

1. Blocked fallopian tubes are one of the most common fertility issues. A blocked fallopian tube will keep an egg from being fertilized by blocking the sperm. Or if fertilization does occur there is a greater chance of an ectopic pregnancy. (This is when a fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tube and can be fatal if the tube is not removed before it ruptures from the growing embryo. Normally if the ovary is okay and if both tubes are blocked IVF is one treatment option to solve this particular fertility issue.

sperm fertilitzing egg2. Endometriosis is a major fertility issue for a lot of women. Endometriosis is when the endometrial tissue grows out of hand and attaches to places other than the inside of the uterus. It can attach to the fallopian tubes, causing blockages, or to the ovaries or the outside of the uterus and even in the abdominal wall. Endometriosis, ironically, reverses when pregnancy happens, but it can also hinder pregnancy from occurring. Sometimes the tissue can be surgically removed or treated with hormones to help pregnancy occur. Intra-uterine insemination is used as a treatment or artificial insemination, to help get the sperm closer to the fallopian tubes for fertilization.

3. Ovulation issues can stem from any number of reasons from unbalanced hormones to conditions like PCOS or endometriosis. If an egg isn’t released then fertilization can’t happen. There are hormonal treatments to help bring about ovulation. IVF is another possibility to help bring about a pregnancy.

4. PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome effects many women of child-bearing years. Normally it is the lack of a menstrual period that alerts to this condition. Obvious reasons for fertility issues are lack of ovulation and even if ovulation happens, conception may be difficult. Less severe cases of PCOS can be treated with medications. More severe cases can be treated with IVF. Very severe cases can render a woman infertile indefinitely.

5. One fertility issue can be poor egg quality; when the eggs aren’t healthy enough to be fertilized. This type of issue can’t be solved necessarily with medications. When this happens if a woman wants to carry a pregnancy she must use donor eggs.

6. Luteal phase defects are when the time from ovulation to menstruation is too short. In order to sustain a healthy pregnancy this time needs to be at least ten days long. Normal cycles are normally two full weeks. If the time falls below ten days and a pregnancy does happen it could end in early miscarriage. Some refer to these as chemical pregnancies. These may give a positive pregnancy test then a few days later end in miscarriage. The most common cause of a luteal phase defect is low progesterone. When progesterone is deficient it can cause a whole host of other fertility issues. Progesterone is the one hormone in the body that regulates the entire endocrine system. Even issues like thyroid problems will crop up with a progesterone deficiency. This is probably one of the easiest to correct by simply using a progesterone supplement in the form of a trans dermal cream will help to balance the hormones and correct the fertility issues.

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Infertility in Women and Common Causes

Infertility in women is the inability to conceive a baby without any medical or alternative help – or to have a miscarriage and not able to carry to term after a year of trying.   Becoming a parent is one of the greatest joys in life. For the couple that wants this and suffers from infertility, this can be a very difficult thing to endure. The urge to become parents is great in many. When it doesn’t happen it can be devastating.

Chances of Getting Pregnant

pregnancy testThe majority of infertility problems lie with the woman. More than half of the cases of infertility stem from female issues that hurt her chances of getting pregnant. Male infertility usually consists of sperm disorders or even unexplained. Fertility in women are judged by the proper menstrual cycle. A very common cause of infertility is due to ovulation problems. Other issues include blocked fallopian tubes from previous tubal ligations or scar tissue and problems with the uterus itself.

Common Causes of Infertility in Women

Statistics show that younger women are more fertile than older women. Fertility started to decline in the latter 30′s. Women lose about 1000 eggs each month. Plus, conditions like PCOS, endometriosis or certain sexually transmitted diseases worsen over time and can eventually lead to infertility.

Another major cause of infertility is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID is sometimes caused from untreated sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia or gonorrhea. These diseases cause scarring in the pelvic cavity – in the fallopian tubes, uterus and even in the ovaries. Normally a woman with PID can become pregnant with the help of invasive infertility treatments like IVF.

PCOS is a leading cause of infertility in women. PCOS is caused from hormonal disorders. PCOS disrupts the woman’s normal ovulation cycle. An inability to ovulate or ovulating irregularly is the cause of infertility in women with PCOS. This condition is alleviated by the medication Metformin. Metformin aids in the absorption of insulin and helps to correct to proper hormone levels.

The hormones should be among the first things tested when infertility is suspected. The endocrine system is responsible for producing the hormones. The adrenal, hypothalamus, ovaries, pancreas, pituitary, testes, and thyroid glands make up the endocrine system. If these are off a lot of times infertility is a side effect.

While there are several medical reasons which cause infertility, the couple also has to look at their lifestyle for causes of infertility. Alcohol and drugs, smoking, weight problems and sexually transmitted diseases as well as stress can cause infertility.

Stress can be caused if conception doesn’t occur within a couple of months of trying. Doctors are unable to diagnose any specific infertility problems within the woman or the man. They are labeled as unexplained infertility. If couples could eliminate this stress, conception has a better chance of happening. If the body is relaxed ovulation has a better chance of occurring. So remaining stress free, or as stress free as possible is very important when trying to conceive.

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Uterus Infertility

The uterus has to be healthy and the uterine lining or endometrial lining needs to be good and thick to help conception to occur and maintain. If the uterus has problems it can cause uterus infertility.

The role the uterus plays in the reproductive cycle is to not only house the pregnancy, but to provide a rich lining that regenerates each cycle, that helps to nourish and cushion a fertilized egg. This is necessary for implantation to take place.

In the reproductive cycle, if no fertilized egg burrows into the lining, the hormones of the body signals the uterus to shed the lining, thus bringing on a new menstrual cycle, where the lining is built back up over a one week time frame once the bleeding is done.

If there are problems with this cycle, if the uterus can’t build a good rich thick lining each month, this can cause infertility and or miscarriages.

Below are issues that can happen with the uterus:

Asherman’s Syndrome – this is when scar tissue and adhesions form within the uterus. This can prevent implantation and or cause a miscarriage.

Endometrial lining issues -this is when the lining is too thin to maintain a fertilized egg. Normal lining thickness is around 8-13 mm. If the lining is less than 6 mm or more than 15 mm it can either cause infertility by not allowing a fertilized egg to implant, or if implantation does take place, can cause a miscarriage.

Fibroid tumors – these are non- cancerous tumors that grow within the uterine cavity and can hinder implantation and / or cause a miscarriage.

Luteal phase defect – this is caused when the time from ovulation to menstruation (known as the luteal phase) is under 10 days. The uterus needs to be able to maintain the uterine lining for more than 10 days in order for a pregnancy to take hold. A luteal phase defect causes early miscarriages.

Malformed uterus – sometimes the uterus will not form correctly. This can cause miscarriages or prevent implantation. These are called bicornuate uterus or a T-shaped uterus or a uterine septum.

Uterine polyps – growths within the uterine cavity, impairing implantation and / or causing miscarriages.

The best way to check the uterus and find out what’s going on is with a procedure called a hysteroscopy. This is when a small telescope-tube is inserted through the vagina and cervix and into the uterine cavity. Once in the uterus is filled with fluid (normally a saline solution) and then can be seen on a screen via the telescope tube. This helps to see if there are an abnormalities or growths. This helps to determine the diagnosis and course of action for treatment.

The good news is that uterus infertility doesn’t mean you can never carry a pregnancy to term. With today’s advances in medical technology and medicines, there are many remedies out there for successful treatment of this resulting in a happy healthy pregnancy.

PCOS and Infertility Problems

Often PCOS and infertility go hand in hand.  In fact, PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome is one of the main causes of infertility in women today. The excessive insulin production causes them to produce high levels of androgens or male hormones. Women with PCOC are insulin resistant which leads to diabetes.

What is POS?

During a women’s normal menstrual cycle, several follicles develop within the ovaries. Each follicle contains an egg. Only one follicle will produce an egg during ovulation. The hormone LH will surge and this causes ovulation to happen. The egg bursts forth from the follicle and into the fallopian tube.

Because women with PCOS do not normally produce enough female hormones necessary for ovulation, these follicles do not mature to become eggs. Instead some of these follicles will become cysts. If PCOS is suspected an ultrasound may show an image that looks like a string of pearls around the ovaries. These are the cysts that didn’t turn into mature eggs. Since the cysts stops the ovulation process, the hormone progesterone isn’t produced and the lining of the uterus does not thicken.

One of the major symptoms of PCOS is the absence of the menstrual period or a very irregular period. As a woman gets older, PCOS can become worse and either ovulate irregularly or not at all. Five to ten percent of women of childbearing age have PCOS. Unless a woman is trying to conceive she may not know she even has this condition – some 25%. Some women are lucky enough to conceive during an irregular ovulation cycle.

Symptoms of PCOS:

  • Acne
  • Excessive hair growth on back, chest and/or fact
  • High insulin levels
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Thinning head hair
  • Type 2 diabetes

Symptoms for PCOS vary with each woman. Some women only have an irregular period as a symptom.

Treatments for POS:

Obviously PCOS affects a woman’s ability to conceive because of a lack of ovulation. Luckily there are measures to take to help bring ovulaiton on. Some women can simply treat their PCOS by losing weight. This can help to regulate the reproductive hormones.

Metforim is often prescribed to women with PCOS. It aids the body in being able to absorb insulin. Metforim is a safe medication for women who do not have diabetes. It only affects the insulin and does not lower blood sugar.

Clomid is another fertility drug used in treating women with PCOS. The estrogen receptors in the brain are blocked when Clomid is taken. Because the brain thinks the woman is suffering from low estrogen, it pumps up the body to produce more FSH and LH, which helps to bring on ovulation. Clomid has about a 30-40% success rate with helping conception to occur.

In vitro Maturation (IVM) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) is also options for women with PCOS. Immature eggs are harvested from the ovary to use for IVM. They are then allowed to mature in a laboratory and then fertilized with sperm. In vitro maturation is a procedure where immature eggs are harvested early in a woman’s cycle. The eggs are then matured in a laboratory and afterwards can be used for fertilization. IVF harvests eggs when they are matured in the ovary. The eggs are then fertilized and implanted in the woman’s uterus. Medication are given to women undergoing IVF to help mature the eggs in the ovaries prior to harvesting. IVM is used when women do not respond well to this sort of drug therapy.

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Estrogen Infertility

Estrogen infertility occurs when the estrogen hormone is produced in too much abundance or is deficient. There is a happy medium in hormones and too much or too little can cause infertility issues. In the reproductive cycle estrogen is produced in the developing follicle and corpus luteum in the ovaries and if pregnancy occurs the placenta produces it.

Estrogen plays a role in the production of the endometrium in the uterus. It also helps cervical fluid to become plentiful or fertile. A surge in estrogen right before the egg is released helps the cervix to be ready for the entrance of sperm.

An imbalance of estrogen causes the reproductive cycle to not work right, and thus a woman can become infertile because of it. Low estrogen can cause symptoms of hormonal headaches, menopausal symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats and causes the cervix to dry up thus causing the vagina to be dry. It will also prevent the uterine lining from thickening.

A lot of times hormone problems stem from other hormones. They all work together. Some causes of low estrogen can be from a deficiency in the luteinizing hormone. This hormone helps to regulate the product of estrogen. Another area that influences it is the pituitary gland. If it malfunctions from act ivities like over exertion (too much exercise) or from being under weight from over -exercising or under eating.

Estrogen deficiencies can be remedied with prescription medications and even some natural herbs and supplements.

An over production of estrogen can also cause infertility. Symptoms of excess estrogen include anxiety, depression, digestive problems, headaches, heart palpitations, irregular periods and weight gain. The cause of excessive estrogen can be from some of the opposite of estrogen deficiencies such as over-eating, unhealthy diet, weight problems and taking hormones like birth control pills as well as environmental estrogens, sometimes called xenostrogens.

These xenoestrogens imitate normal estrogen – and actually disrupt the endocrine system. These are found in growth hormones and in pesticides found in some meats like chicken and fish. It’s important to try to buy meats that are organic or hormone free to avoid this.

Excessive levels of estrogen is linked to infertility disorders like endometriosis and PCOS – (polycystic ovarian syndrome). This is also linked with girls reaching reproductive maturity quicker.

Combating excessive estrogen can be done with diet. Eating foods that are both low fat and high fiber and limiting caffeine is a good way to start. Also a moderate exercise routine will help to keep the body healthy. Trying a body detox to rid of the xenostrogens and will help to ease the estrogen infertility. See your healthcare provider for more suggestions on diet and exercise.

 

Expert Author: Lori Ramsey, Author of  When Sex Isn’t Enough: Identify and Cure Minor Infertility.

 

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