More women are investing in their careers, yet they want to ensure their ability to have a family. These topics are charged with emotion. Here are the facts.
Age & Infertility*
Menken, et al. Science 1986
Leridon Human Reproduction 2004
*There are different methods for measuring infertility. For this chart, infertility was defined as not conceiving within 12 months among married couples not using contraception. Research methods vary between studies and result in different rates, represented here with ranges.
Women are born with all their eggs.
As eggs age, problems arise with the chromosomes, the packages of DNA inside the egg.
As women age, they have lower chances to conceive and a higher chance for one type of birth defect called a chromosome problem.
Age-related infertility starts to drop more quickly at about age 32.**
Egg freezing and IVF are options for women to have families later, but don't make up completely for the drop in fertility.**
Screening tests are available during IVF and during pregnancy to look for chromosome problems.
**SOGC Committee Opinion 2012
Age-related risk for a live born child with a chromosome problem
Hook EB Rates of Chromosome abnormalities at different maternal ages. Obstet Gynecol. 1981 Sep;58(3):282-5.
Hook EB, Cross PK & Schreinemachers DM. (1983). Chromosomal abnormality rates at amniocentesis and in live-born infants. JAMA , 249, 2034-8. PMID: 6220164