Trying for a baby after 35 years old has become increasingly common. Although a woman’s fertility is at its peak in her 20s, most women aren’t ready to start their family at this age and instead wish to focus on their career and financial goals.
However, as you age your fertility can be affected and for some women after the age of 35, it can be harder to get pregnant than when they were younger. What’s more, a woman after the age of 35 may face higher risks and challenges during her pregnancy as a result of her age.
In this article, we aim to shed light on fertility after 35 and share our tips for getting pregnant.
How Does a Woman’s Age Affect Her Fertility?
As we age, our fertility decreases. By the age of 35, a woman’s fertility typically decreases at a faster rate than it did in her early thirties and this can make it harder to get pregnant.
At birth, a woman has all the eggs she will have for her lifetime – usually between 1-2 million. Once she hits puberty, that number will halve and by menopause, typically occurring between the ages of 45 and 55, most women only have around 1,000 eggs left.
Just as we age, so do our eggs and older eggs are typically harder to fertilize, which adds to the challenge of getting pregnant later in life. However, this does not mean it’s impossible.
When to Seek Professional Help
Trying to conceive after 35 can feel scary for some women. Perhaps you’re just starting out or you’ve been trying for a while. Whatever your journey looks like, if you’re worried about anything it is important to seek professional support.
If you have been trying to get pregnant for over 6 months and you are over 35, it is important to contact your doctor. This doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant, it’s just an opportunity for you to share your concerns and receive advice on your best next steps.
If you are over 35 and you have a condition such as endometriosis or you are concerned about your reproductive health and how this may be impacting your fertility it is important to seek advice.
We know it can be difficult booking your first fertility appointment. Knowing what to expect at that first fertility appointment can help. We also created a checklist to help you prepare and feel more confident from the start.
How to Get Pregnant After 35
Despite the worries, many women are excited to start their family after 35. They feel more mentally and financially prepared and they are ready to start their journey into parenthood. If you are hoping to get pregnant after 35 and you want to improve your chances of becoming pregnant quickly, here are some of our top tips.
Understand Your Menstrual Cycle
As a woman, your chances of getting pregnant increase when you understand your menstrual cycle. When you understand your menstrual cycle, you can monitor when your fertility is at its highest. You can then time sexual intercourse around the peaks in your cycle and increase your chances of conception.
For most women, their menstrual cycle is 28 days long and they are typically their most fertile around day 14. However, this can vary depending on the length of a woman’s cycle length. According to Flo, tracking your menstrual cycle can be helpful when you’re trying to conceive as it can “help you predict your fertile window”. Knowing your unique menstrual cycle allows you to manage your conception efforts in a more productive way.
Have Sex During Your Fertile Window
The fertile window is the stage in a woman’s cycle when she is most likely to conceive (typically the 5 days leading up to ovulation and the day of ovulation itself). Having sex during this time period is recommended as it greatly increases your chances of conception.
Don’t forget that sperm can live in the body for up to five days, so sex before the fertile window is also recommended to increase your chances of conception. In general, for women trying to conceive, it is recommended that you have sex every 2-3 days to increase your chances.
Look After Your Health
Your health and well-being has a significant impact on your fertility. So, as well as getting to grips with the ideal timings for sexual intercourse, it’s important to take care of yourself as best as you can. This includes the following:
Eat a Healthy Diet: good nutrition is advised at all stages of life. However, eating a healthy diet when trying to conceive is especially recommended. Foods high in folic, such as dark leafy greens, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and whole grains, as well as omega-3 fatty acids from fish, are great for increasing your chances of conception.
When trying to conceive, your main goal should be to eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of whole grains, healthy fats, fruit, vegetables, fish, and meat. Avoid highly processed or sugary foods as well as caffeine and alcohol where possible.
Cardio: exercise (especially cardio) a couple of times a week is great for women trying to get pregnant. It’s also just a healthy practice to implement into your routine. 30 minutes of walking a day will be enough to keep your body moving, keep your heart healthy, and also provide mental health benefits. While you’re trying to conceive (and throughout your pregnancy), it is important to keep active.
Stress: ah, yes we’ve mentioned it. The word we can’t escape from. Stress. We all struggle with stress to different degrees and while it can be a great motivator, stress can also have negative effects on our health and wellbeing if not managed properly.
If you’re trying to conceive, whether you’ve been trying for a while or not, the waiting between periods can be stressful. High-stress levels can have a negative impact on your overall health and unfortunately, stress and fertility usually go hand-in-hand. So, when you are trying to conceive it is vital you learn how to manage and reduce your stress. Whether that means talking to your doctor, seeking guidance from a therapist, practicing yoga and meditation, or speaking with a friend, it’s important to find what works for you and go from there.
Trying for a baby is an exciting time. However, it can also be full of uncertainties. We hope this article helps you focus on what’s important so that you can conceive successfully and enjoy a happy and healthy pregnancy. And don’t forget, if you’re unsure about anything or you would like some extra support, it’s never too early to contact your doctor and share your concerns. We wish you the best of luck on your journey.