Many factors contribute to a woman’s need to seek help with their pregnancy. This is especially the case when a woman is deemed infertile or if the woman is over over 40 years of age. As countless women hold off on starting a family until they are more established, this typically means that a woman is well into her 30s or even her 40s before she has her first child.
In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services state that about 20 percent of women in the U.S. now have their first child after the age of 35. Age is a major factor and it is an ever-increasing cause of infertility problems. Furthermore, the HHS proclaim that about one-third of couples have fertility problems when the woman is over 35.
The aging process increases a woman’s chance of needing help with her pregnancy in several ways. The Office on Women’s Health cites that a woman’s ovaries may have become less able to release eggs which is why she may have problems ovulating normally. It could be that the woman has a smaller number of eggs left and the eggs she does have may not be as healthy. As a woman grows older, she is more prone to having health conditions that impede her ability to have a normal pregnancy. These health conditions can also lead to a higher risk in having a miscarriage.
If you are having difficulties getting pregnant and are considering seeking help getting pregnant, most experts believe you should wait one year before doing so unless you are 35 years or older. HHS defines infertility as “not being able to get pregnant after one year of trying. Or six, months, if a woman is 35 years or older.” Infertility can also be defined as a woman being able to get pregnant but unable to stay pregnant. They also state that as a woman reaches the age of 30, her chances of having a baby rapidly decrease every year. As mentioned before, health issues can play a part in increasing the likelihood of fertility problems. A woman should seek medical help with her pregnancy if she experiences irregular menstrual cycles or no menstruation at all. Painful periods should also be a cause for concern. HHS also list endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and if the woman has had more than one miscarriage as all reasons for her to talk to a doctor.
Speaking to your doctor is a good idea anyway if you are trying to get pregnant especially if you are in your 40s. Doctors can help by advising you on how to get your body prepared for having a baby and they can also answer any question you may have on fertility issues.