Conception, pregnancy at age 40 are threats to fertility, expert advises

Pregnancy conception at age 40 is a threat to fertility, a leading fertility specialist advises.

Abayomi Ajayi, obstetrician and gynecologist/ managing director, Nordica Fertility Centre said the looming fertility difficulty is a worldwide threat and the current state of people who are over age 40 of reproductive concerns cannot continue much longer without threatening pregnancy chances.

The fertility specialist speaking to the journalist in Lagos reiterated that in order to avoid a number of age-related complications, women considering starting a family is advised that their fertility will decrease dramatically in their mid-30s.

“Advancing age affects both male and female fertility, though the effects are more significant in women. while a woman is about the age of 30 has about a 20 to 25 percent chance of conception, it is about 5 percent in women over 40. And while a woman at 30 has a 1 in 385 chance of having a chromosomally abnormal baby, a woman at 40 has about 1 in 66.

“Everything could go wrong with women who wait till after 40 years to have children, old teaching still stands which is women should try to conceive at an early age,” Ajayi said.

In addition, gynecological conditions such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, adenomyosis, Down syndrome, and chromosomal abnormal babies are mostly associated with women over 40 and can further affect the ability to conceive. Women who get pregnant at older ages are more at risk of pregnancy complications such as miscarriages, and stillbirth. Thus, younger women have higher chances of conceiving, staying pregnant, and having healthier pregnancies.

Read also: Seeking pregnancy after 50 is more than imagination

According to Ajayi, the same laws that apply to natural conception is what applies to IVF, even if people have been made to believe that women who is over age 40 can go for In vitro fertilization (IVF) is not true.

He further explained that it is not all women would experience this, but according to several studies, 50 percent of women will not succeed to conceive naturally and if she tries to do IVF, there are two things that she will have to contend with, it is either she is using her own eggs, which has five to 10 percent or use donor eggs.

“About 50 percent of them will lose their pregnancy because they are considered to be a high-risk pregnancy due to pre-eclampsia, placenta accident, CS is much more increase in women over 40.

“Age is a physiological thing; it is not an abnormal thing. Age has an effect on fertility, so there is nothing anybody can do about that,” he said.

Fertility specialists said that age is an important factor in male and female fertility adding that young adults should start early if they desire to have a family.

He advised that while deciding if you want to have children or not which comes with the thought of being financially, morally stable, and compatibility of a partner, we need to have it at the back of our minds that before you can do that, you need to have the children first.

“Women can freeze their eggs to preserve fertility and couples with infertility should seek early intervention,” Ajayi added.