It is a well-known fact that a woman can have a child as long as she is not going through menopause. However, as the years go by, her chances decrease along with her ovarian age. Do you want to have a child? First of all, you need to determine your chances by examining your ovarian age. How can you determine it? Why is it important for fertility?
Determine your ovarian age based on your ovarian reserve
The ovarian reserve is the stock of oocytes in a woman’s ovaries at a particular moment. Her chances of conception depend mainly on the number of follicles she has available. Moreover, it is the first thing to be checked during a fertility check-up. Of course, as she gets older, this stock may decrease.
Why should the ovarian reserve be measured?
A woman should get a fertility test before she starts trying for a baby. However, some people don’t even consider doing one unless they are having trouble conceiving. To find out your ovarian age, all you need to do is do a basal hormone study.
The basal hormone test measures the anti-Müllerian hormone. This hormone transforms ovarian follicles into oocytes and promotes ovulation. It provides an estimate of a woman’s ovarian reserve. A high concentration of AMH increases the chances of getting pregnant. In other words, a woman’s ovarian age is determined by her number of follicles. It is possible to perform this test at any time during the menstrual cycle. It is performed by means of a simple blood test.
The basal hormone test can also quantify the FSH or follicle stimulating hormone. It stimulates egg production. If its level is too high, it can indicate ovarian insufficiency. The detection of luteinizing hormone is also part of this test. Its concentration at the end of the first phase of a cycle is what triggers ovulation.
Why is it important to count the antral follicles?
This examination is part of the fertility check-up. It is essential to determine a woman’s ovarian age, but more importantly, to determine her ovarian reserve. It can be detected via an endovaginal ultrasound. Its result, together with that of the basal hormone test, can be used to make a diagnosis aimed at optimizing the chances of conceiving.
The size of the antral follicles ranges from 2 to 10 millimeters. Typically, it should be from 8 to 10 per ovary for a 25-year-old woman. A larger number is associated with polycystic ovary syndrome and an insufficient number is a sign of decreased ovarian age. The latter usually depends on the woman’s age, but a 30-year-old woman may have the same ovarian age as a woman entering menopause. This ultrasound is prescribed between the 2nd and 3rd day of the menstrual cycle.
The importance of ovarian age when conceiving
At birth, a woman has a stock of several million oocytes. The menstrual cycle causes a loss of almost a thousand oocytes. And as a woman ages, both the number and quality of these gradually decline. At some point, the capacity of the oocytes for fertilization also declines. This is why after the age of 40, a woman may develop a fertility problem.
Generally, a woman’s chances of conception depend on her age. For each cycle:
- 25-year-old women have a 25% chance of conceiving.
- Women aged 35 have a 12% chance of getting pregnant.
- And 42-year-old women have only a 6% chance.
These percentages translate into:
- 90% of 25-year-old women are likely to get pregnant easily.
- The percentage drops to half (45%) for women aged 35.
- And only 12% for women aged 42.
A woman who has trouble conceiving naturally for a period of 6 months to 1 year should see a doctor. It might indicate a problem with the ovarian reserve. Unfortunately, no treatment can rejuvenate your ovarian age or increase your ovarian reserve.
Ovarian reserve: the main cause of female infertility
Your ovarian reserve decreases with your age. This can be a factor in determining your ovarian age. Both a lower reserve and older oocytes are not good for conception. Ovarian ageing begins and accelerates from the age of puberty until the age of 37,5. On average, a woman’ s follicle reserve is around:
- 5 to 7 million follicles in the womb during pregnancy.
- 600 to 2 million follicles at birth.
- 400,000 follicles during puberty.
- 25,000 follicles at 37.5 years of age.
- 10,000 follicles by the age of 40.
- And about 1,000 follicles during menopause.
Your age is then a determining factor if you want to have a child in a natural way. However, the degree of loss in the ovarian reserve varies from one woman to another. While some women tend to follow this pattern, others experience an accelerated loss of follicles for genetic reasons or other factors. This can lead to premature ovarian failure. For this reason, an assessment of the ovarian reserve is always prescribed when a woman has trouble conceiving.
Making the most of your ovarian age to conceive
Unless you have some other fertility issue that is not related to the ovary, you should take advantage of being in full use of your ovarian reserve to try for a baby. A woman is mature enough to get pregnant at the age of 20. This maturation begins to diminish from the age of 30. However, this does not mean that a woman cannot conceive beyond this age.
It is also worth pointing out that it is not only your ovarian age that may be the source of your infertility. If you don’t have a problem with your reserve, the problem may come from somewhere else. It may be a blockage in your tubes. It can also be a hormonal problem or simply male infertility.
On average, a couple that does not have fertility problems is able to conceive a baby within 4 to 7 months. This estimate is correct for a woman who has a young ovarian age. However, if a woman over the age of 35 is unable to conceive after one year of regular intercourse without birth control, it may not necessarily be a dysfunction.
Performing medically assisted procreation if there is an ovarian age issue
Even if it is impossible to increase your ovarian reserves, it is possible to improve their quality through stimulation. If you are unable to conceive after one year, but are still in your thirties, you should consult with a doctor. During this consultation, the specialist will suggest several tests, including one that will determine your ovarian reserve.
The results of this test will allow him to determine the type of stimulation that will best increase your chances of conceiving. If your oocytes do not respond to any stimulation, you should consider other solutions such as in vitro fertilization or oocyte donation. Some people, for personal or medical reasons, preserve their fertility through cryopreservation.
If you want to have a child through co-parenting, it is important to choose a partner with an ideal ovarian age. However, finding that person is not an easy task. Coparentalys can put you in contact with a person who has the ideal ovarian reserve to have a child with you and with whom you can raise the child together in coparentality.