During our teen years, we were taught that if you’re not careful, you can end up with a baby. Anyone struggling with infertility knows it’s not always that simple. Here are some facts about fertility and conception to consider if you plan on growing your family now or in the future.
- You are more fertile today than you will ever be. Age is the single biggest factor affecting the chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby because egg and (to a lesser extent) sperm quantity and quality decline with age. At 20 years old, the chances of getting pregnant are about 25% each month. That number decreases to 20% at 30 years old. By age 40, the chances of getting pregnant each month are less than 5%.
- You are born with all the eggs you will ever have. Eggs don’t regenerate like sperm. Anyone born with eggs has between 1 and 2 million eggs at birth. By 30 years old, only about 10-15% of the eggs remain, and by 40 that number is less than 5%.
- Male-factor infertility is more common than you think. Infertility affects men as much as women. About 30-40% of cases are attributed to the male partner, with an additional 10% coming from a combination of the male and female partner. That means up to 50% of infertile couples struggle to conceive due to a male factor, such as low sperm production, abnormal sperm function or blockages that prevent the delivery of sperm.
- Being healthy doesn’t necessarily equate to being fertile. Habits like eating healthy, exercising, abstaining from cigarettes and alcohol are all beneficial to your fertility. Unfortunately, having a healthy lifestyle doesn’t guarantee getting pregnant will be easy. Look at celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Chrissy Teigen, and Kim Kardashian who seem to have it all and still struggled with infertility. Age and other conditions like endometriosis, PCOS, ovulation disorders, and atypical sperm count, motility, morphology contribute to infertility. Some symptoms may even go unnoticed or undiagnosed until you’re trying to conceive.
- You can have a baby without help, and then struggle to get pregnant again. It’s called secondary infertility, which is defined as the inability to conceive or carry a baby to term after previously giving birth. Secondary infertility makes up about 50% of infertility cases. Some of the causes of secondary infertility are the same as primary infertility. Other causes include complications related to a past pregnancy or surgery.
Were you surprised to learn some of these facts? If you are struggling with infertility, don’t wait! Empower your future. It all starts with a conversation. Schedule a consultation with an FCI physician today.
Medical contribution by Allison K. Rodgers, M.D.
Dr. Allison Rodgers is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and has been practicing medicine since 2004. Dr. Rodgers’ personal experiences with both secondary infertility and pregnancy loss have given her a unique insight into reproductive medicine, and she is well-known for her compassionate and individualized patient care.