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Can We Turn Back the Reproductive Clock For Women’s Fertility?

Researchers have found a new non-invasive treatment that can be used on older women that are trying to become pregnant. This treatment helps to restore the quality of a women's eggs, along with restoring her egg number, to ensure a safe, healthy pregnancy for any women over the age of 35.

April 3, 2020

This article covers:

  • How Hard is it to Become Pregnant When You’re Older?
  • Research on Raising Fertility Rates in Older Women
  • Risks of Becoming Pregnant When Older

How Hard is it to Become Pregnant When You’re Older?

For many women that are deciding to have a child become pregnant usually sometime in their 20s, or early 30s, but many other women wish to have children later in life, or at the advanced maternal age. The “advanced maternal age” is the medical term that doctors have pinpointed towards women over 35 that wish to become pregnant. A woman’s age is a factor that predicts a woman’s ability to conceive and the older a woman gets, the harder it can be. 

Doctors don’t recommend that women have children after the age of 35, but it is very common anyways. Once a woman reaches the age of 30, their fertility rate starts to decline and it continues until menopause. Peak fertility age among women is in their 20s, and for a woman that wants to have a child past the age of 40, they only have a 5% chance per menstrual cycle of getting pregnant. 

Research on Raising Fertility Rates in Older Women

Researchers have found a new method that could potentially help older women to become pregnant if they have been struggling to conceive. In a research study done on mice, researchers were able to give the mice small doses of a metabolic compound, which helps to reverse the process of aging in a woman’s eggs. The quality of eggs and how old they are depends on how successful a woman’s pregnancy will be. 

researcher looking through microscope
Researchers have found that a metabolic compound is capable of restoring the quality of eggs in women to make it easier to conceive if they are struggling. 

The mice that were tested were given small amounts of a metabolic compound by putting it in their drinking water for four weeks. Upon studying the results, the mice were able to get pregnant easier, with reversing the age of their eggs, and also to increase the success of live births at an older age. This can drastically help women over the age of 35 who are looking to become pregnant by restoring their eggs, to give women an easier time to become pregnant past the recommended peak fertility age.

Risks of Becoming Pregnant When Older

Although it is very common for women to become pregnant past the age of 35, it is also not recommended by many OB/GYNs. A woman is born with the amount of eggs that she will have for the rest of their life, which is over one million. By the age of puberty, that number drastically drops to below 300,000 and it continues to drop the older you get. The lower the number of eggs that you have, the harder it is to become pregnant.

A common risk of women that wish to become pregnant after the age of 35 have a higher chance of a miscarriage compared to younger women. The percentage spikes up to 20%-35%, which is higher compared to women in their 20s. It also takes longer for a woman to become pregnant and can take up to one to two years until they are able to become pregnant because of the less likely chance of an egg being released during ovulation. 

pregnant woman with striped shirt
It is common for women over the age of 35 to become pregnant, but there are many risks that they can encounter, such as an increased risk of miscarriages, and having a child with a birth defect or genetic disorder. 

Another issue that can occur with trying to become pregnant past the age of 35 is the risk of your child having Down Syndrome. This is due to a risk in chromosomal abnormalities such as an increase in missing, damaged, or extra chromosomes in a woman’s eggs as they age over time. Prenatal screening tests are recommended if you are over the age of 35 and wish to have a child to ensure that your baby will not be born with a birth defect or genetic disorder.

It is common for many women to have a child past the age of 35, but there are many complications that could possibly occur in the process. If you are planning to become pregnant and you are 35 or older, talk to your OB/GYN today about what is right for you. 


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