Key Fertility Statistics by Age
While there are indeed many contributing factors to infertility, including both male and female factors, a woman’s age is a key determinant of a number of important fertility statistics including the odds of getting pregnant naturally along with assisted reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization (IVF).
The charts below provide a brief into to the chances of natural pregnancy, odds of infertility, one of the main reasons behind age related infertility, success rates, and costs.
Of course . . . these are pretty broad statements made by research studies and clinical data. All fertility perimeters have a great deal of natural variance among the population and your fertility and treatment odds are best understood with a consultation and assessment with a fertility specialist.
The charts below provide a quick look at the natural chance of pregnancy, the chance of pregnancy using fertility treatments, egg count, egg quality, and other important fertility statistics by age.
Remember—the best way to understand your personal fertility status is to schedule a fertility assessment with our healthcare team.
Chance of Getting Pregnant by Age per Month
The odds of getting pregnant each month changes greatly as a woman ages through their thirties and into their forties. Those chances drop from around 25% at a peak of a woman’s fertility to less than 5% around the age of 40, with further decline from there .
Chance of Getting Pregnant by Age Within 12 Months
Infertility is often defined as the inability to get pregnant within 12 months so it’s important to know your odds of doing so. Also, do note that the agreed upon criteria for diagnosis infertility is only 6 months if over the age of 35 as it is more critical to seek care immediately. This is important to understand so that you don’t beat yourself up after only a few months of regular unprotected intercourse, but to GET HELP if you’ve gone over this time. Remember, that’s regular unprotected intercourse, not “intentionally trying or planning” to have a baby – many people mistakenly think “oh I’ve been trying to get pregnant for 4 months” but they’ve indeed been having regular unprotected intercourse for multiple years. Below are the odds of getting pregnant naturally by age within 12 months .
Odd of Infertility by Age
Given we now know the odds of getting pregnant each age by both and within 12 months, as well as the definition of infertility, it’s a good time to take a look at the odds of infertility by age . As you’d expect given the previous two graphs and information, the odds of infertility climbs with age, from around 7% in the early twenties (mostly due to non age related fertility factors like PCOS, tubal disease, or male factors).
What Causes Female Age Related Infertility?
Female age related infertility is caused by a number of factors, but let’s take a quick look at a few big ones.
Ovarian reserve is a term used to describe the number of eggs left in a woman’s ovaries. If we think back to high school biology, you may remember that women are born with every egg they will ever have. In fact, a female fetus will have all they eggs they ever have while still in utero. When a woman reaches sexual maturity, they start developing a large number of eggs each month – roughly a thousand. Of course, only one of those thousands is “chosen” to fully mature – that chosen egg is the one that is ovulated and has a chance of being fertilized and developing. The remaining 999 (or so) eggs simply fail to develop and wither away each month meaning a woman’s ovarian reserve shrinks by upwards of a thousand every month and declines greatly as one ages .
While ovarian reserve is not a measure of egg quality in and of itself, it does have some correlations to egg quality and odds of pregnancy.
The most common way Ovarian Reserve is assessed is through the Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) test. AMH is a protein based hormone produced by specialized cells within the ovarian follicle (where the egg develop). AMH levels in the blood can be used to help estimate the number of follicles inside the ovaries, a woman’s egg count, and predict their ovarian response to stimulation medications. Each month, a large number of eggs is lost, so as a woman ages they have less eggs in store to pull from. With less eggs to pull from, fewer eggs begin to develop each month which results in lower AMH levels over time .
Higher level of AMHs indicate that more follicles/eggs have begun to develop that month and a likely greater ability to develop multiple high quality eggs if during an egg freezing, injectable IUI, or IVF treatment cycle.
A typical AMH level for a fertile woman ranges between 1.0–4.0 ng/ml. A level under 1.0 ng/ml is considered low and is indicative of diminished ovarian reserve. It’s important to understand however that AMH levels can vary greatly each month and may be improved.
Getting Pregnant with IVF by Age
Now that we’ve seen the odds of natural pregnancy decline by age and why, let’s see if IVF can save the day?
As you can see from data reported by the CDC IVF does help improve odds of pregnancy across he board – however, age is still a large factor in determining success, largely for the reasons mentioned above. Because egg quality is the primary factor in lower odds of success (rather than uterine environment or other factors) it makes sense that IVF with young eggs (either through donor eggs or previously frozen eggs) leads to relatively age independent success rates with IVF.
Despite individual variance, fertility and the odds of achieving pregnancy both naturally and with the help of fertility treatments tends to decline with age. But, that by no means doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Those in their late 30s and 40s routinely get pregnant and have healthy children, sometimes with the help of a fertility clinic, other times, all on their own. While the cost of most fertility treatments including the cost of IVF, Donor Eggs, and Egg Freezing all play a significant role in the ability to seek care for many, a good number do have insurance coverage and their are other financial options to help you achieve your dreams.
To learn more about Making Your Genes Come True™ here at CNY, the nation’s most affordable fertility clinic, we invite you to schedule a consultation with one of our providers.