Fertility changes with age

Age is the most significant factor affecting your fertility. It is advisable to consider enlarging your family at the right time and not to delay the decision for too long.

A woman comes into the world with a certain pool of egg cells that determines her fertility. Doctors and scientists refer to this potential as an ovarian reserve.

With the passage of time, the number of available ova gradually decreases. Immediately after birth there are about 1 -2 million, and after puberty about 400,000. From this point on, many ova are activated each cycle, and one ova matures and is released during ovulation. Month by month, with each year, the number of eggs decreases.

For this reason, it is considered that the optimal time to get pregnant is between 20 and 35 years of age. Then the process of decreasing ovarian reserve accelerates and a woman loses approx. 30 cells per day. Gradually their quality also decreases. This continues until menopause, when the fertility period ends.

Decrease of ovarian reserve may be a result of other factors as well, such as: surgery of reproductive organs, cancer treatment, inflammatory conditions, autoimmune diseases, genetic conditions causing e.g. early termination of ovarian function. Smoking, abnormal body weight and air pollution may also have a negative effect on the number of ova. You can easily assess what pool of ova you have. For this purpose a test is performed on the level of AMH hormone (anti-mullerian hormone) in the blood. The result – in combination with the determination of the number of ovarian follicles during an ultrasound at the gynecologist – allows you to determine quite precisely whether your ovarian reserve is adequate.

AMH levels above 1.2 ng/ml are considered normal. A result below 0.3 ng/ml may indicate significantly reduced fertility, while according to research, women with AMH above 2.4 ng/ml have the best chances of conceiving a child quickly.