Age is the single-most important factor to achieving pregnancy
- At birth, women have 1-2 million eggs.
- Women are naturally at their most fertile from age 23- 31.
- By age 35, only 15,000 eggs remain, and natural fertility declines sharply with each passing year.
- Egg quality also declines with age. In a woman’s 20s, about 80% of her eggs are viable (and can result in a normal pregnancy). By age 36, 50% of eggs are normal, and by age 40, <30% of eggs are normal.
By age 43, the ability of a fertility clinic to help a woman conceive using her own eggs is <5%.
Ask for an AMH hormone test
An AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) blood test is currently considered one of the most accurate fertility tests to predict a woman’s “ovarian reserve” (how many eggs she has remaining). This number can help physicians counsel their patients regarding:
- When to start trying for a baby (sooner if AMH is low)
- Estimated number of eggs that can be retrieved per cycle
- Anticipated responsiveness to fertility medications
Low AMH predicts a poor response to fertility treatments, but does not predict an absolute inability to conceive. The Average AMH level for a woman at age 25 = 4.1ng/ml. By age 35, this average shrinks to 2.1ng/ml, and by age 40 AMH is around 1.1.
The Facts About Elective Egg Freezing
The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) removed the “experimental” label from egg freezing in 2013.
- If a woman is considering this process, it’s best to do before age 35.
- Egg freezing does not guarantee pregnancy, but instead, provides many women with peace of mind to start a family when they are ready.
- An egg freeze cycle takes approximately 1 month from consult to egg retrieval and is basically an IVF cycle without fertilization of the retrieved eggs.
If Chemo or Radiation Are Ever Recommended
Always remember to consider future fertility if a woman has not yet finished building her family.
- Carolina Conceptions will make room for these patients same day if at all possible.
- Carolina Conceptions discounts egg freeze cycle costs to cancer patients and has pharmacy partners who can often provide cycle medications at no cost.