Women are waiting longer today to have their first baby. And even in the best of conditions, making a baby can take time; up to one year.
For young women, fertility begins to fall off after age 27. The research shows that for women between the ages of 19 and 26, the chances of conceiving in any given month is about 50% if they had intercourse two days before they ovulated. For women ages 27 to 34, the chances of conceiving in that month dropped to 40%. By the age of 35 the probability dropped to 30%. At age 40 the chances for conception in a single month drop to 5% and after age 42 they are even lower.
In a study that I published looking at women who were trying to get pregnant who had no fertility problems but were using sperm donor insemination to conceive, about 60% of the women got pregnant within 4 months, about 75% of the women were pregnant within 6 months, and about 95% of the women got pregnant within 12 months. This means that even if you don’t have any fertility problems, it can take up to one year to conceive.
Here are some things you can do to improve your chances for conception at any age.
1) Eat a healthy diet.
2) Don’t smoke.
3) Take a multivitamin daily
4) Exercise regularly
5) Avoid excessive drinking or taking any street drugs
6) Make an effort to control your level of stress through exercise, yoga, meditation, prayer or whatever works for you.
7) Have intercourse about twice per week.
Here are 3 tips on when to see a fertility doctor.
1) If you are 30 to 34 years of age and don’t get pregnant within 9 months
2) If you are 35-37 years of age or older and you do not get pregnant within 6 months,
3) If you are 38 years of age or older and thinking of starting a family, see a fertility doctor at that time and don’t wait. Time is the most important commodity in having a baby as a woman ages beyond 35.
This isn’t to say that many women won’t be successful starting their families as they age. It’s just important to realize that making the baby takes time. To see a short cartoon video called Making a Baby Takes Time, click here.