Although a woman’s fertility begins to decline in their mid- to late-twenties, it is around their 35th birthday that most women start to experience a significant deterioration in their ability to conceive. As there are many women who continue to enjoy the ability to conceive well into their early 40s, many women simply assume they too can reproduce into their 40s. This simply is not the case for all women.
A rough estimate of your future fertility hinges on a few critical issues. Your current menstrual cycles give you a clue into future fertility: if your periods are irregular and significantly painful, this could indicate future problems. If you suffer from a chronic illness such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), diabetes, or a thyroid disease, this could also complicate fertility for you.
Another marker is the age at which your mother went through menopause. If your mother’s age of menopause onset was early, this could be a red flag for your own fertility.
None of these factors guarantee that you will not be able to conceive. Many women conceive easily despite these factors, but these are factors that do point to risk of increased difficulty.
The only way to know for sure is to begin trying to conceive.
How long should you wait before you seek assistance? If you’ve been trying for six months without success, seek help from a specialist. The first step would be an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist.
Your fertility expert will rule out hormonal issues or issues with your partner’s fertility. If these are not an issue, there have been many recent scientific advances in fertility which your fertility expert can apply. Often women seeing a fertility expert are pregnant before they know it!